By Keith Hackett

17th May, 2022 | 1:56pm

Ex-Premier League referee swipes at Cedric Soares as controversial Arsenal footage analysed

Cedric Soares and Arsenal can have no complaints with Tottenham’s penalty in their 3-0 win in last week’s (12 May) north London derby, according to Keith Hackett.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-Fifa and Premier League referee claimed Soares was “stupid” to push Heung-min Son and officials are being more strict with tangling in the penalty area.

Referee Paul Tierney pointed to the spot in the 21st minute when the 30-year-old appeared to shove Son in the back as a cross was floated in.

Harry Kane converted from the spot to open the scoring and things went from bad to worse for Arsenal when Rob Holding was shown a second yellow card just over 10 minutes later.

Soares was axed from the Arsenal starting XI as a result and Takehiro Tomiyasu started the 2-0 defeat to Newcastle United on Monday night (16 May).

That result has made the Gunners’ quest of finishing the top-four almost impossible as they now sit in fifth, two points behind Spurs with one game left to play.

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“There’s a push,” Hackett said after analysing the penalty footage with Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley.

“For me, referees are getting a bit firmer with pushes in the box.

“This is a stupid action so it’s a penalty kick.”

Arsenal need Tottenham to slip up at bottom-placed Norwich City next Sunday (22 May) if they want to finish in the top four and qualify for the Champions League.

Mikel Arteta’s side host Everton on the final day who themselves may need a win to confirm their Premier League status.

In other news, Arsenal have been tipped to complete a ‘tremendous signing’ to replace Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after a critical update.