ARSENAL'S players reportedly backed Mikel Arteta's shock decision to axe Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from the north London derby.

The Daily Mail claim Gunners skipper Aubameyang was furious with his manager for removing him from the starting XI hours before kick-off.


Yet the report adds that influential members of the Gunners squad believe Arteta made the right call to punish the striker for his misdemeanour.

Aubameyang was disciplined earlier in the campaign for missing a Covid test before a European trip, and was also reprimanded by the club for breaking regulations to get a tattoo last month.

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Arteta confirmed that the former Borussia Dortmund star had been due to start Sunday's derby before reportedly turning up late.

Aubameyang then left just 23 minutes after the final whistle as Arsenal team-mates celebrated their 2-1 win over rivals Spurs.

The 31-year-old is said to have not taken part in the post-match warm-down with his fellow unused substitutes.

Arsenal are reportedly now set to fine Aubameyang – who had been returning to top form after scoring nine goals in his last 12 games.

Yet none of the reports over the past 24 hours have stopped the Gabon international celebrating his team's 2-1 success on social media.

Accompanying a picture of his jubilant team-mates, he wrote on Instagram: "North London is Red and that’s it !!!"

In Aubameyang's absence, stand-in captain Alexandre Lacazette proved Arsenal's matchwinner from the spot.

Erik Lamela had given Spurs the lead with an outrageous rabona finish before the Gunners fired back through Martin Odegaard.

Lacazette's second-half finish meant Arsenal remain 10th in the Prem table but are now just four points behind Spurs in seventh.

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