10-man Arsenal may have conceded at the death to surrender a hard-earned point but assistant coach Albert Stuivenberg, who led the team in the absence of Mikel Arteta, was proud of his side’s performance against Manchester City.
Bukayo Saka gave the Gunners a deserved first half lead and we were unlucky not to double the advantage on numerous occasions before the visitors drew level from the spot following a contentious VAR review of Granit Xhaka’s foul on Bernardo Silva.
Gabriel’s red card drew a line under Arsenal’s dominance and Pep Guardiola’s league leaders delivered the hammer blow deep into stoppage time as Rodri pounced in the box to score the winner.
Here’s what the Dutchman had to say in his post-game interview with the BBC.
On being proud of the performance but disappointed by the result…
That’s a fair conclusion, I would say. We are very frustrated with the outcome when you play a game like this against one of the best teams in the world, I would say. At the end, we have zero points which is frustrating because we should have won the game.
On Martin Odegaard not being awarded a penalty…
I’ve seen it back, I think it is a penalty. What I’m looking for is consistency here. We have the VAR in place so why don’t you check it as the referee. That didn’t happen and that is disappointing, of course.
On a two-minute period (Arsenal conceding a penalty, missing a chance and then having Gabriel sent off) defining the game…
It is difficult [playing City with 10 men]. At the same time, we did really, really good. How many chances did they really create? Until the last moment, which is also a bit of a lucky moment because the ball drops there. We’re very, very proud of the performance first of all. The fans, as you have heard, have enjoyed our performance today. We had our chances, at 1-1, we had a big opportunity with Martinelli on the post. That’s a big moment, it didn’t go our way but still, we see a lot of progress in this team. We’re proud of the performance.
On Gabriel’s sending off…
It is something we have to learn. We have a lot of young players in the team, we have to control our emotions. I’m not sure if that first yellow card was because of that [scuffing up the penalty spot before Mahrez took his kick], but I cannot ask the question now to the referee. If you are on a yellow card, you must be smart not to get the second one, of course.
On taking positives from the match…
Absolutely, a lot of positives. We have to build from here. This is the level we want to play and every day we work very hard to create this situation. As I said before the game, we want to see a team with belief who can compete against a big team like this but also able and dares to play against a team like this. We showed that today, so I’m very proud.
Thank you for this game young boys. I am very proud of you and proud to be a Gunner!
I was so angry at that result that I kicked over the Christmas tree. Its performances like that that gives us a real chance at the top 4.
Gutted. I wonder how Arteta’s TV/furnishings are doing just now…
Suppose it’s time for it to come down now anyway
Immense performance. We were the victims of a mad 5 minutes today. These things happen. But if we learn to perform like this consistently then a fourth place finish will be the least we deserve.
Proud. Onwards and Upwards.
That was a title-winning performance.
Even with Xhaka in and without a world-class ST.
Even with Xhaka in? He has been immense since the Everton match and was brilliant today. Was the victim of a clear dive.
Was a ridiculous challenge. He has no brain
Neither do people who think Xhaka has been brilliant, excellent etc
Watch the games mongol. How far did xhaka have to go to get to Silva? Where were the CB and lb.?
Dive, dive, dive, dive, dive.
Sure he tumbled, but that is because Xhaka knocked his leg and pulled his shirt. Soft, sure, but it’s a penalty. 6 in his EPL career to be the midfielder that has conceded the most pens in EPL history.
The only issue is it should not have been overturned. That’s the inconsistency. That’s the frustration. The rest is just part and parcel of overplaying xhaka.
You’re better than that mate, and smarter.
Dive(ide) et impera ! That’s city’s philosophy.
Shirt, shirt, shirt, shirt. Xhaka keeps his grubby hands off someone else’s shirt, no penalty.
If it was the shirt pull/pinch that did it then, as the saying goes, you’d have to give 5 penalties every time there’s a corner. Shirt pull my arse, the twat was already horizontal when numpty pinched his shirt. I know diving is more accepted now and is seen more as a skill but I don’t care about that I am saying DIVE, dirty cheating dog shit DIVE!
By brilliant do you mean invisible until the penalty? At least Partey is beginning to realise he has to do everything himself.
Partey was shit while xhaka was out. Watch the games, see who is covering for who. Watch how far the unathletic xhaka had to run to get to Silva. Where was gabriel? Tierney martinelli.
He is a fucking liability
Shouldn’t Eduardo’s challenge against Odegaard be classified as a studs up challenge?
Excellent performance that deserved 3 points. Well done boys
Hopefully that immense performance means we wont have to listen to the Arteta out brigade any more.
But we wud av won wiv Aubz and Saliba and Ozil in da team bruv u get me fam!
Arsenal lost, so Arsenal Fan TV will be delighted with their ratings tonight.
No. We would have won with no Xhaka
Who knows. If Xhaka didn’t play it would have been Elneny probably so the game would have gone in a different direction.
Spurs, don’t think they can afford anyone.
My friend, what about Gabriel’s 2x stupidity then? He was so good but after that we had no chance. At least we know what a sportsman rodri is… I am frustrated but proud. This new Dutch manager makes some wonder.
Spurs, then you can hate watch all arsenal players.
But blud we wid av won with anybody else playing except Xhaka
Spurs, then you won’t be hate watching, you’ll be supporting your team.
I think you could have written what you wrote without mocking the vernacular.
ATV bingo, we played well and xhaka can be blamed for the loss. Like a lot on here, would rather have something to whinge about than win the game.
That was an Arteta masterclass – we outplayed City with their own playing style… then they just resorted to cheating and the officials decided to side with them (*cough oil money cough*).
Arteta masterclass without him there?
More a stuivenberg MC
Stuivenberg in! 😁
I hope so too but after a couple of bad results they will crawl out from under their rocks. I genuinely think they like it when Arsenal are playing badly. Mentalists.
Arsenal playing badly, and someone to blame. Then they’re really happy. All about being outraged on Twitter.
Couple random observations that might get lost in the VAR/Xhaka/Gabriel discussions: 1 – I encourage everyone to watch the videos of Stuivenberg’s impressive post-match interviews. I hadn’t heard him speak before, and he seems an extremely level-headed, thoughtful man and is surely a great influence on our young squad. Arteta seems to have surrounded himself with positive characters. 2 – Want to give a shout out to Lacazette for the way he’s captained the side through the past few weeks. One interesting thing I’ve noticed, in addition to him managing referees well and encouraging/calming younger players during the game: As… Read more »
Laca deserves an extra year. Not sure he wants one and I worry he might take his foot off the gas if he does.
I’m inclined to agree, as long as we still sign a new striker who is explicitly the first choice, and that Laca is aware of + okay with that from the outset. He seems to be an incredibly positive presence in the squad — see ESR’s comment that Laca has been the most helpful person for him, or something to that effect.
when coming off, I saw him mouth to ESR ‘don’t give up!’ – always nice to see
Think he might be able to get a 3 year contract somewhere. I don’t think from what i’ve seen since he’s been an arsenal player that he would give anything less than his best, no matter what his contract status.
Best post I’ve read on here in a long time. Well done Sir.
Spot on for pretty much all of that. Appears we have a pretty capable deputy for Arteta.
Gabriel is young and will learn.
Xhaka makes the same bone headed fucking idiot mistakes over and over – he never learns. Get rid of him.
Also, Mr. Parey – welcome back! We’ve missed you. Now if THAT Partey continues to show up, this is a different team. Too bad he goes off to the ACN, as that’s a huge miss. Please come back soon and in one piece!
Bukayo Saka – what a gem we have there. My word, he gets better and better.
Fuck ’em (VAR, ref, Man City et al…) let’s use this to believe in ourselves and start smashing these teams again !
This wasn’t a flukey win or a weak defeat, we belong at this level now
It was a fluke win, we should of had a penalty, referee ran into the box blocking Gabi from a tap in, referee only gave 3 in play fouls against city, var judged a dive as a legitimate penalty and also only gave Gabi a yellow for turfing the spot(ramsdale did it too, why give a yellow to a cb and not a keeper? One is massively affected by it and the other isn’t)
we lost unfairly in my opinion, but we move on.
I meant, we didn’t get a flukey win against a good team – very confusing I know! It was a completely undeserved win for them, assisted by a shit ref and totally incompetent VAR……and Spurs have just scored in injury time FFS
I just feel weirdly buoyed from that performance, and I think the team will take a lot from it. Xhaka played well but we do need an upgrade in left CM. I wonder if we’ll stick with him until Patino takes over….
We were immense in this game. Awarding them the non-penalty ruined the match and had a knock-on effect because our players were riled up – and rightly so. Officiating needs to be consistent and this match was a prime example of how much better refereeing needs to be to keep up with the modern game. This is the most annoyed I’ve been all season with a result because we played the team that’s top of the league completely off the park and have still come away with nothing. I’m not even angry at Xhaka or Gabriel because that wasn’t a… Read more »
So done with Xhaka. Will never reach the level we want with him in the side. Gabriel needs to learn from this. The rest of the team…..awesome!
I’m absolutely sick of the Xhaka fanboys downvoting reasonable criticism of their hero. It is a clear and obvious fact that mediocrities like Chambers, Xhaka, ElNeny, Holding et al. are what separate us from competing nowadays. Xhaka is a solid player, but a classic mid-table/Championship guy who would be the centrepiece of a Burnley or Fulham. There are many better players.
You saw today a bright future for us.
Xhaka is not part of it.
An upgrade on Shelvy
I’m so tired of losing to this souless, plastic club. Man City and Pep obviously get special privileges with VAR.
Xhaka is getting alot of flak but if Xhaka did what Gabriel did then he’d be even nore villafied. At 1-1 with 11 we had a chance. Gabriel lost his head and made 2 silly mistakes that cost us the game. That sequence showed our immaturety and youth but I love the passion. Its up from here.
Great performance from the lad, I believe that they will learn. I don’t want to talk about the officiating because it was a shame to see decisions go against us.. These referees need to be consistent and fair during matches. I also think that we aren’t clinical in the final third especially martinelli but again they’re young guys and would definitely improve.
Xhaka also need to be careful because I think he being targeted by the referees
For How many matches would Gabriel be suspended?
There is a sense of injustice about this result which makes it harder to take.
I hold on to the forlorn hope that one day the full extent of City’s corruption will be exposed, as it was with Juve and Marseille.
If we dont get top 4, it is since xhaka got into team. Nuff said.
What’s with Xhaka and other people’s shirts? With 100 grand per week, you would think he could simply buy as many of the stuff as he fancies.
I’ll admit it, at the start of the season I was Arteta out. I was frustrated with how we were playing and the manner in which we were losing.
I’m always happy to be proven wrong, and in recent form, Arteta is proving me wrong… Arteta please continue to prove me wrong all the way to glory!
Great performance today!
Also, I love how we’re deploying a little bit of dark art here and there, I quite enjoyed the scuffing of the penalty, although it did prove to be one of the downfalls for Gabriel today.
Again, great performance!
Granit Liability Xhaka