Arsenal: Arteta gives verdict on red cards at Wolves
Former Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Frimpong has criticised Mikel Arteta’s decision to substitute Alexandre Lacazette in the Gunners’ 2-1 defeat to Wolves on Tuesday. Lacazette was withdrawn at half-time and replaced by defender Gabriel Magalahaes after David Luiz was sent off at the end of the first-half.
Luiz was shown a red card by referee Craig Pawson after he was adjudged to have clipped the heels of Wolves striker Willian Jose while he was through on goal.
Ruben Neves converted the resulting spot kick to draw things level after Nicolas Pepe had given Arsenal the lead.
Joao Moutinho’s second-half strike put Wolves in front and they came away with all three points, with Arsenal ending the game with nine men.
Goalkeeper Bernd Leno became the second player to be sent off after handling the ball outside his box.
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However, it was Luiz’s dismissal which turned the game on its head and Arteta’s decision to sacrifice Lacazette in order to bring on a replacement for Luiz left Arsenal without a recognised striker.
Reacting to the decision on Twitter, academy graduate Frimpong said: “Sorry mikel but why did u take lacazette off”
Speaking after the game, Arteta revealed he was planning to appeal against Luiz’s red card, saying: “Well as I’m standing here I would say yes let’s go straight away, but we have to speak with legal at the club and decide what the best thing is to do.
“We should have been three or four nil up and we didn’t do that and we put ourselves in a really difficult position after conceding the goal and going a man down.
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“If you want to talk about the decision I’ve just seen the replay ten times in five different angles and I cannot see any contact. I would like to see if VAR has different angles.
“It was a big decision. If they got it right and can justify that they got it right I hold my hand up and apologise.
“All I am saying is that I’m sitting here and I cannot see any contact and that’s really, really frustrating because it’s a big moment in the game.
“Of course it changed the game. You play with ten men for 45 minutes without your central defender against this opposition of course it changes the game.
“We were really animated at half time because we really wanted to win the game, the boys were so convinced to have a real go and we didn’t concede any chances but Moutinho scored a worldie, it’s 2-1, then Bernd comes out and hits the ball with his hands it’s a clear red card.
“We’re down to nine players and it’s almost impossible to win the game.
“The way we lost the game is where it really hurts, it’s painful.
“I have to take the positives, the way the team is evolving, the way the team played against this opponent which is really difficult to attack, the amount of chances that we created but we leave the ground and have 0 points and lost two important players.”
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