Arteta delivers impassioned defence of red card duo; updates Arsenal injuries

Date published: Tuesday 2nd February 2021 8:53 - Steve Pearson


Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta defended both David Luiz and Bernd Leno to the hilt after the pair’s red cards cost his side dear versus Wolves.

Arsenal imploded in dramatic fashion after two straight red cards saw them reduced to nine men.

A bright opening half had seen the Gunners take the lead through Nicolas Pepe, but the game turned on a David Luiz foul on the stroke of half-time.

The Brazilian saw red after felling Willian Jose as the last man, with Ruben Neves converting the resulting spot-kick.

A Joao Moutinho wonder strike soon after the interval put the hosts in front, and any hope of an Arsenal fightback were halted when Bernd Leno received his marching orders for a deliberate handball outside of the box.

FULL MATCH REPORT: Nine-man Arsenal implode in calamitous fashion to gift Wolves rare win

Speaking in his post-match press conference (via Football London), Arteta said: “The way we lost the game really hurts, it’s painful.

“I’ve just seen the replay [of Luiz’s red card] ten times in five different angles and I cannot see any contact.

“If there is any contact it’s him with David. I don’t know if they have a different angle to what they have or you have.

“Those big decisions are like that but it’s nothing I can change at the moment. It was a big decision and they can justify if they got it right then I put my hands up and apologise.

“The only thing I’m saying is I’m sitting here and I cannot see any contact and it’s really frustrating because it’s a big moment in the game.

“We were really animated at half time because we really wanted to win the game. We didn’t concede any chances but Moutinho scored a worldie.”


When asked if he would appeal the decision, he responded: “If I’m sitting here now I would say yes. We have to speak with legal at the club and see what the best thing is to do.”

New loan signing Mat Ryan was conspicuously absent from the bench, leading to Alex Rúnarsson deputising when Leno saw red.

“He had a muscular issue and in the last two days he hasn’t been able to train,” the Spaniard said of Ryan. “Hopefully we can get him back in the next few days.”

Providing an update on Kieran Tierney, Arteta admitted: “He wasn’t close at all hopefully in the next few days he feels much better.”

Regarding Leno’s bizarre handball outside of the box, Arteta explained away his goalkeepers actions: “I imagine he makes the decision in a split of a second and naturally he tries to stop the ball, there’s nothing he can do.”


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