“I blame my team” – Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta refuses to criticise referee Craig Pawson

Pawson was criticised byArsenalsupporters for failing to show a second yellow card to Jorginho, who went on to score the equalising goal.

The loss leaves the Gunners down in 12th place in the Premier League table, just six points clear of the relegation zone.

They have now won only one of their last 15 games in all competitions, and face a tough task againstManchester Unitedon New Year’s Day.

But Arteta insists his players must take responsibility for letting a 1-0 lead slip in front of their own fans at the Emirates Stadium.

“I blame my team,” he said in his post-game press conference. “We are responsible for everything we did wrong on that football pitch.

“The decisions we didn’t get right, obviously. The other things we cannot control or change them now.

“More than something related to the organisation, physically it was tough to maintain the levelChelseaplay at at the moment.

“We are asking them to do something different, to play at a different pace, much more aggressive and at the moment they suffered.

“We had a lot of injuries; we’re putting demands on young players. I don’t think that they didn’t want to do it or that they were scared, I think it was just too physical for them in the end.”

Bernd Leno was at fault for Jorginho’s equaliser, failing to deal with Mason Mount’s free-kick from the left.

But Arteta praised the German for his performances this season and highlighted the importance of his players believing in themselves.

“He will be down,” the manager said. “He’s done a really good job since he joined this football club and we have to respect that. We just need to bring the confidence back in and that’s it.”


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