Mikel Arteta slapped with touchline BAN after Arsenal’s dramatic last-gasp winner against Luton | The Sun

MIKEL ARTETA was handed a bittersweet ending to Arsenal's thrilling match at Luton after he was slapped with a touchline BAN.

The Gunners came from 3-2 down to win 4-3 against the Hatters thanks to Declan Rice's pinpoint last-minute header.

But Arteta, 41, celebrated the goal so wildly that he was booked by referee Sam Barrott.

It was his third yellow card of the season.

And this means he will be banned from the touchline for Saturday’s visit to Aston Villa.

On the yellow card and his celebration, he told BeIN Sports: "I could not be seated in my seat. It was pure emotion. If that's a yellow… that's a yellow."



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Luton 3 Arsenal 4

Rice's last-gasp header puts Gunners five points clear at top of Prem

The irony of the Villa game will be Arsenal now facing the Spanish manager Arteta replaced in Unai Emery.

Speaking in his post-match press conference, Arteta expressed his delight at the character the team had shown to win away at Kenilworth Road after David Raya dropped two howlers.

He said: "It was a special night. The resilience, the character, the quality and the desire to win that we showed was great.

"We are playing every three days and the demands are there that we have to win every game. But the way these players go about it and how much they want it makes me very proud.

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"We never want to accept a draw. You can sense the drive and the risk and emotion that we put into every game.

"Declan had another incredible game. The leadership and the quality he is showing is getting better and better every week.

"And then he gets into the opponent’s box and smells the opportunity to get the ball in the back of the net.”

On the Raya errors, he added: “We conceded goals that we are disappointed with tonight, but that is going to happen and how we reacted to it was great.

“We have to defend these situations better as a team. it’s not about blaming any individuals. We’ve never done that and we won’t do it now.”

Rice, who also scored a stoppage-time winner against Manchester United in September, said: “What a game.

"To score the winner is an honour and these are the moments that you look back on in your career.

“But we cannot get too carried away because Arsenal were eight points clear last season and didn’t win the League.

“We have new players like me coming in and learning so it’s just about not worrying about any other teams and getting three points each week.”

Devastated Luton boss Rob Edwards said: “That feels like a real kick in the teeth. I didn’t know what to say to the lads at the end.

“Football is about entertainment and tonight we gave everything, but it’s also my job to get points and tonight we’ve just come up short.

“We made it a really uncomfortable night for Arsenal. We tried to make it chaotic and we were brave and asked a lot of questions of them.

“We showed a lot of character to twice come back from behind and take the lead and we showed spirit and fight to keep going after giving away another early gift goal.”

The win ensures Arsenal retain their spot at the top of the Premier League.

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The North London side now have a five-point gap to second-place Liverpool before tonight's round of fixtures.

Meanwhile, Luton remain just two points above the drop zone.


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