Matteo Guendouzi was NOT dropped by Arsenal because of his antics against Albion, according to his manager.

The midfielder did not travel to Southampton for yesterday’s 2-0 win.

Guendouzi escaped a ban after grabbing Seagulls striker Neal Maupay on Saturday.

But he attracted widespread criticism for losing his cool and focus as the Gunners lost 2-1 at the Amex.

Albion’s win was perhaps put into some context as Arsenal beat a Saints side whose form either side of the hold-up had taken them away from the relegation battle.

The Argus:

Arsenal celebrate their win at Southampton

Arteta said: "No (it wasn't punishment for Brighton). It was squad management.

"I don't like to make any decisions to send messages. The messages that I send to the team or individually are very open and I'm clear with how I feel.

"Winning is the most important thing and when you win, everything is fine.

“Whatever issue we have internally, I will resolve it in a private way. I explained that I cannot explain and that's it."

Arteta, who picked up his first Premier League away win as head coach, admitted his players were left hurting after Albion’s comeback.

He added: "I was concerned because after the defeat at Brighton where we threw the game away, it really touched the team.”