March 28, 2023


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Arteta believes Granit Xhaka’s red card shows how committed players are

2 min read

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta believes Granit Xhaka’s red card in the defeat to Burnley showed how committed his players are to addressing their Premier League slump.

The 10-man Gunners fell to a 1-0 loss, their fourth home league defeat in a row, as a Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang own goal settled the game in favour of Burnley – who enjoyed a first-ever win at the Emirates Stadium as a result.

A turgid first half ended with just one shot on target for either side but Arsenal were better immediately following the interval.

They were unable to build on that head of steam as Xhaka was dismissed for grabbing Ashley Westwood round the throat – his initial booking upgraded to a red card after referee Graham Scott consulted the pitchside VAR monitor.

It is the seventh time Arsenal have had a player sent off in the Premier League since Arteta was appointed almost a year ago and the defeat leaves the FA Cup holders just five points above the relegation zone.

Asked if he felt down by Xhaka’s actions, Arteta replied: “Yes. But honestly, I think it was unacceptable to do that action and the players are in a moment that they are so willing to do more and fight more and show how committed they are, to be alive in the game.

“On this occasion Granit has overstepped the line. We cannot make those mistakes because they’re the wrong approach to what we’re trying to do.

“He’s made a mistake, clearly. The way the game was going, the dominance that we had… it was a game that we had to win and with 10 men it makes it much more difficult. You give the opponent a chance and you end up losing.”

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