Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson threw shade on Arsenal and their boss Mikel Arteta after his stubborn Eagles side fought back to draw 1-1 with the Gunners on Saturday.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang grabbed an early lead as the visitors started strongly at Selhurst Park, but their brightness soon faded and Jordan Ayew pulled Palace deservedly level after the break.
After Aubameyang was sent off for a horror tackle on Max Meyer both sides had chances to win the game, with James Tomkins’ header cleared off the line and Vicente Guaita producing a double save to deny Nicolas Pepe and Alexandre Lacazette.
However, Arteta did not agree and insisted it was two points dropped for the Gunners.
And Hodgson, the oldest manager in the Premier League, responded by reminding the top flight’s youngest boss about the money Arsenal have paid to assemble their team and that it appeared to make little difference against his – and with EIGHT of Palace’s first XI also missing.
After being told about Arteta’s reaction and being asked about Palace’s meagre scoring tally this season – only Watford have scored fewer goals this season – Hodgson told talkSPORT:
“Well, we aren’t blessed with as many strikers or players that have cost hundreds of millions that Arsenal have, we work with what we have.
“As a result sometimes we can’t reproduce the same sort of quality of Aubameyang for his goal, but I thought today we asked enough questions of the Arsenal defence and we certainly defend extremely well.
“And the fact is we’re on 29 points from 23 games now, which is an incredible return, so I’m not going to be the one who complains that we don’t score enough goals, I’m more interested about how many points we’re getting.
“To get 29 points from 23 games is an outstanding return, particularly without eight regular first-team players.
“I’d like to see how many other teams could lose eight starters for their first-team and still get results against Arsenal.”
Hodgson also responded to Aubameyang’s tackle on Meyer, which was upgraded to a red card following a three-minute VAR break after the Arsenal captain was initially only shown a yellow.
And having mentioned his injury problems, the boss would certainly not like another one after Meyer has forced off shortly after the incident.
“I knew at the time it was a severe challenge and I’m not accusing Aubameyang of wanting deliberately to do that, but it was a bad challenge, a forward’s challenge,” added the former England boss.
“He’s had his ankle bent almost in half, a 90 degree angle.
“The only thing that surprised me is it took them so long to decide it was a red card, because I don’t think I’ve seen a challenge which was more obviously a red card that in a long, long time.
“He’s lying on the bench and he’s having the injury assessed. I’ve got to say seeing it back on the video it does bother me, seeing how his ankle was bent. I’m worried about ligament damage.
“But he himself is making the right noises, so now we’ll just have to wait until Monday to see if he is OK.
“We can ill afford to lose any more players, there’s no doubt about that.”