Arsenal boss blames Chelsea star for defeat

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has blasted Chelsea star Diego Costa for getting Per Mertesacker sent off in their 1-0 loss on Sunday, according to reports from the Mirror.

Costa was fouled by Mertesacker as the last man 18 minutes into the fixture, and the Germany international received a straight red to dent the Gunners’ chances in the race for the title.

Wenger’s men knew they needed a victory to keep up with Leicester City, who beat Stoke City 3-0 on Saturday.

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However, after Mertesacker’s dismissal, Arsenal were second best and Costa rubbed salt into their wounds by scoring the only goal of the game.

And Wenger accused the Blues striker of purposely getting his centre-back sent off, claiming he overacted after the challenge following minimal contact.

Wenger said: “Yes. Of course. Mertesacker made the challenge but I said he got Mertesacker sent off. You cannot say it’s not true.

“Look, I have not seen it again. In the first game he got Gabriel sent off and today he got Mertesacker sent off. It’s a tackle, regular or not. Did he touch him or not?

“I’d have to watch it again. But the fact is the fact. I do not accuse him of anything. It’s just what happened.

“I think it (the red card) was quick and harsh, but I have to watch it again. It was frustrating, of course, but it’s a decision we have to take on the chin and get on with our job. We did that.

“The team were focused and resilient, fighting to the last season. Despite the disappointing results, we should take more belief to our game by that performance.”

Arsenal will have the chance to turn their form around when they host Southampton this weekend, while champions Chelsea aim to continue their unbeaten streak under Guus Hiddink when they travel to Watford on Sunday.