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Declan Rice 'loved' Mikel Arteta's referee rage

Declan Rice 'loved' Mikel Arteta's referee rage

Declan Rice admits that Arsenal's players "loved" Mikel Arteta's rant about referees.

The Gunners bounced back from their controversial loss to Newcastle at the weekend with a 2-0 win over Sevilla in the Champions League on Wednesday (08.11.23) and the midfielder explained that the team was fired up by Arteta's angry reaction to Anthony Gordon's contentious goal in the Premier League fixture.

Rice said: "We love it. I think you see how passionate he is. He sometimes gets criticised for how he is on the sidelines, but he is living the game through us.

"He’s so energetic and the way he speaks, he’s like a teacher the way he is in the changing room with us - and that really fires us up for the game and I think that’s what he’s really good at."

The European victory leaves Arsenal on the cusp of reaching the last 16 and Rice felt that it was an essential response following consecutive defeats.

He said: "After the upset [against West Ham] in the [Carabao] Cup and then obviously on the weekend, a club like Arsenal, we can’t be losing three games in a row.

"The manager made that clear before the game. He said: ‘We need to get back to winning ways and put in a high-energy performance.'

"Sometimes when you’re playing against a back five, it’s hard to break down. But in the end we kept persisting and we’ve come through."

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