Arsenal slumped to a 1-0 loss at the hands of Burnley in the English Premier League as midfielder Granit Xhaka was sent off in the second half of the match.
The Swiss international was shown a straight red in the 56th minute of the game after VAR footage showed him grabbing Ashley Westwood round the throat during a heated argument.
The decision came right at the time when Arsenal had the upper hand in the match and a goal was just around the corner. The sending off of Granit Xhaka was undoubtedly a big blow for Arsenal as they are now winless in their last five league matches but despite that Mikel Arteta chose to back the midfielder.
The manager said after the game: “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, that on this occasion Granit has overstepped the line.
“It’s another action with Mo that I haven’t seen, but it looks similar. 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.”
— afcstuff (@afcstuff) December 13, 2020
Well, Mikel Arteta has put up a brave face by choosing to back his player publicly but even he knows that Granit Xhaka could and should have controlled his emotions much better.
Arsenal went into this match at the back of some really poor domestic form and this game vs Burnley was the perfect chance for them to pick up all three points. But thanks to the Swiss international, Arsenal are now sitting 15th on the league table having picked up just 13 points off of their first 12 matches.
Next up, Arsenal take on Southampton in midweek and in this match, Arteta will be without Granit Xhaka and the injured Thomas Partey.