Mikel Arteta has said that he is ‘angry’ about Granit Xhaka’s red card because of similar challenges not being punished in that way against Arsenal.

Manchester City v Arsenal - Premier League - Etihad Stadium Arsenals Granit Xhaka walks past manager Mikel Arteta after being sent off during the Premier League match at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester. Picture date: Saturday August 28, 2021. Copyright: Nick Potts
Manchester City v Arsenal – Premier League – Etihad Stadium Arsenals Granit Xhaka walks past manager Mikel Arteta after being sent off during the Premier League match at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester. Picture date: Saturday August 28, 2021. Copyright: Nick Potts

Speaking to the media after the game, Arteta was asked about his frustration with the result. “Really big, really disappointed with he things that happened on the pitch,” he said.

“Obviously, the summary after three games and losing the three of them it doesn’t make it any easier. I think we started the game really well and took the game where we wanted, we were really competitive but in the first action, the ball is wide, we didn’t stop the cross or deal with the runners or defend the box well enough, and if you do that here it is impossible to win a football match as there are so many basic things that have to be done better.

“After that, we conceded the second one a few minutes later, which I think is a clear punch on Calum Chambers’ face, so I don’t know how the goal is allowed to [stand].

“We continued and after another 20 minutes Granit gets the red card and we have to play 60 minutes with 10 men against the best team in the league. A very difficult day, yeah.

Asked about Xhaka’s red card, Arteta added, “I’m angry because of the consequences that that had to the team. We have suffered actions like that already in the last two Premier League games and nothing happened.”

Mikel Arteta is not wrong.

There have been some bad challenges against Arsenal that have been waved away or, at best, seen a yellow card handed out.

Just in the City game alone, we saw Calum Chambers basically punched in the box in the lead up to a City goal. Despite a VAR review, the goal stood, no foul. Later in the game, Sead Kolasinac received a yellow for half a hand in the face of a City player.

When you raise the issue of refs, some think you are trying to distract away from Arsenal’s poor performance, but it is possible to be both rubbish and screwed by officials.

In addition, this season we’ve also seen a Joe Willock goal not given when the ball was clearly over the goal line and a Brentford one allowed to stand when the ball had gone out of play.

And that’s before we even talk about Arsenal and penalties….

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Writer. Feminist. Dreamer. Gooner. Owner of DailyCannon.com, writing about Arsenal since 2008. Sometimes found in the Guardian, Vice.com & elsewhere talking queer issues, politics & football. If in doubt, assume sarcasm.