Brighton match-winner Neal Maupay said Arsenal got what they deserved after they criticised him for his role in a serious injury to keeper Bernd Leno.
Leno landed awkwardly after being nudged by Maupay and had to be carried off on a stretcher as Arsenal lost 2-1.
German Leno sat up as he was being carried off and pointed at Maupay, while Arsenal players surrounded the Brighton player at full-time.
“Some of their players need to learn what is humility,” said Maupay.
Arsenal’s French midfielder Matteo Guendouzi had to be pulled away from Maupay by his team-mates after the final whistle as Brighton came from behind to win.
“One of them was talking the whole game and saying really bad things,” added Maupay.
“When I scored I just had to say ‘listen, that is what happens when you say bad things on the pitch’.
“At half-time, I went to the manager Mikel Arteta to apologise. I never meant to injure the keeper. I jumped for the ball. I apologise to the team and to him as well. I have been through a bad injury, it is hard.
“Arsenal players maybe need to learn humility sometimes. They were talking a lot. They got what they deserved.
“I just went to get the ball really. When he landed he twisted his knee. It is football, there is contact. I never meant to hurt him. I apologise again and wish him a speedy recovery.”
This was Arsenal’s second game back following the restart after losing 3-0 at Manchester City on Wednesday when Switzerland midfielder Granit Xhaka and Spanish defender Pablo Mari were injured.
Gunners boss Arteta was also missing Brazilian defender David Luiz, who was sent off against City.
Leno was replaced by Emiliano Martinez with the game goalless. Nicolas Pepe fired the Gunners into the lead but Lewis Dunk equalised before Maupay’s late winner in the fifth minute of stoppage time.
Speaking after the game, Arteta said Leno’s injury “doesn’t look good” but does not believe Maupay deliberately intended to injure the German keeper.
“I always believe players don’t have the intention to injure people and I am sure he did not intend to do that,” added the Spaniard, whose side are eight points off a top-four spot with eight games left.