Arsenal: Arteta laments Xhaka red card in Burnley loss
Granit Xhaka faces further embarrassment over his red card in Arsenal’s shock defeat to Burnley. The Arsenal midfielder was sent off over an altercation with Ashley Westwood as the Gunners lost 1-0 at the Emirates.
Writing in the official matchday programme ahead of the game, Xhaka stressed the importance of ‘organisation’ and crucially, ‘discipline’ as Arsenal set out to end their dismal run in the league.
“I’m a guy who is very organised,” he wrote.
“This is maybe my best thing – for me, organisation, discipline and respect for other people are very, very important.”
Xhaka’s words came back to make him look silly following the flare-up in the 56th minute which resulted with him being sent off.
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With the game level at 0-0, the midfielder flew into a reckless tackle on Clarets winger Dwight McNeil.
As Burnley players reacted, the Swiss international grabbed Westwood by the throat.
Initially referee Graham Scott only issued a yellow card but after consultation with VAR and reviewing the pitchside monitor, rightly changed his decision to dismiss the Arsenal man.
Speaking after the game Mikel Arteta condemned his player’s actions as ‘unacceptable’.
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“Yes [the red card was unacceptable],” Arteta told the BBC.
“In my opinion it is too much willingness to do well, to compete to do everything.
“We took it to the wrong side of it, when you step over the line you will get punished.”
Things went from bad to worse for Arteta’s team when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang directed Westwood’s corner into his own net for the only goal of the game.
“When you give the red card away the game changes.”
Xhaka’s sending off was the sixth time Arsenal had received a red card since Arteta took charge last December, twice as many as any other team in that time.
Just three weeks before, Nicolas Pepe received his marching orders at Elland Road for an attempted headbutt on Leeds’ Ezgjan Alioski.
Facing a three-match suspension, Xhaka will now be ruled out of league matches against Southampton and Everton as well as the Carabao Cup tie against Manchester City.
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