‘I’ve been 18 years in this country and never seen something like it’: Furious Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta DEMANDS ‘explanations’ after seeing Gabriel Martinelli sent off for committing two yellow card offences in five seconds
Boss Mikel Arteta has demanded an explanation for Gabriel Martinelli’s quickfire red card at Wolves and defended Arsenal’s disciplinary record.
The striker was sent off – the Gunners’ fourth red card in 2022 – for two yellow cards in a matter of seconds as Arteta’s side hung on to win 1-0 at Molineux.
Gabriel Magalhaes’ first-half strike moved the Gunners up to fifth in the Premier League table, a point behind West Ham with two games in hand.
Mikel Arteta was fuming after seeing Gabriel Martinelli sent off in Arsenal’s 1-0 win at Wolves
The striker was booked and then sent off following two fouls made in the same phase of play
Martinelli’s dismissal was the 15th under Arteta since he took charge in 2019, but the head coach insists they are not dirty and wants to know why they are falling foul of referees.
‘It’s worrying,’ he said. ‘The red card changed things. The red card was one you have to want to give.
‘You ask me if I’m happy with the decisions we’ve had this season and that’s a conversation I will have with officials privately.
‘I want explanations about VAR and what happened tonight. They are conversations that are going to happen very soon.
‘Everyone says it is the most disciplined group they have seen in the last 10 to 15 years, but we are still getting red cards.
After trying to block a throw in, the striker then fouled Chiquinho for his second offence
Arsenal’s coaching staff look on in fury following Martinelli’s dismissal at Molineux
‘I’ve never seen that (Martinelli’s red). I’ve been 18 years in this country and I’ve never seen something like it.
‘I’m really happy with the result obviously. It was a massive result for us away at a good team that makes barely (any) errors and concedes very little.
‘I keep telling you guys how close they are, how willing they are to defend their shirt.’
Former Arsenal defender and Sportsmail’s Martin Keown sided with Arteta, believing the match official’s action was ‘not sporting’.
‘I thought it was pedantic from the referee’, he told BT Sport.
Arsenal held on to win 1-0 following a close range finish from Gabriel in the first half
The Gunners are now up to fifth but in prime position for a charge at a top four place
‘There’s a moral issue with what the referee has done, it doesn’t feel sporting.’
Areta though admitted that while he was pleased with the character of his team to hold on with 10 men, the Spaniard stated that the Gunners cannot keep riding their luck to close out three points with a personnel disadvantage.
‘To win football matches like that [with 10 men] is extremely difficult and we have to stop it’, he told BBC Sport.
‘We’ve been talking about it. I have run out of ideas [about how to stop it], I think.
‘The character, how we dug in, the spirit we showed, I’m really proud of the boys. There was togetherness and unity.
‘We need to play with 11 players in the last 16 games and that is key. To win games with 10 men is very unlikely.’