Mikel Arteta was left somewhat puzzled with Gabriel Martinelli’s red card during Arsenal’s win at Wolves.
The Gunners won 1-0 at Molineux but had to do it the hard way as they went down to ten men in the 69th minute.
Martinelli was given his marching orders for two yellow card offences in a matter of seconds – the first for attempting to block a Wolves throw-in and the second for barging over Chiquinho in the same phase of play.
However, referee Michael Oliver issued both yellows at the same time and thus told the Brazilian forward he was off.
Arteta suggested his player was unlucky to be sent off but admitted his concerns over Arsenal’s disciplinary record with Martinelli their FOURTH red card of 2022.
On Martinelli’s dismissal, Arteta said: “I’ve never seen anything like it.
“The rules may say it’s possible, you have to be very, very willing to do that.
“To win football matches like that is extremely difficult. One of the main things we need to stop is that.
“We’ve been talking about it but today is something I’ve never seen in my career happen, it’s the first time.”
On how his players can avoid red cards, he added: “I have run out of ideas, I think.”
He continued: “We need to play with 11 players in the last 16 games, that’s going to be key to winning football matches. Winning in the Premier League is hard enough, to win it with ten men is unlikely.”
The red card has certainly divided opinion, with talkSPORT’s Jamie O’Hara adamant that Martinelli was hard done by.
O’Hara said on the Sports Bar: “The red card is absolutely shambolic in my opinion. Martinelli has lost the ball, it goes out for a throw-in, and he puts his arm on the lad who takes the throw in.
“He still gets the throw-in away, the Wolves player goes with the ball, he chases after Martinelli and makes a foul, that’s a booking!
“But the ref comes in and books him twice in the same phase and sends him off! How can you book a player who doesn’t know he’s on a yellow card and give him two yellows? Shocking decision.”
Jason Cundy said: “Martinelli deserved it, they are two yellows… first off, he’s tried to stop a throw-in with his hands – that’s a yellow card. I don’t care if it’s a soft or hard yellow, it’s a yellow.”
O’Hara responded by saying Martinelli didn’t know he was on a yellow.
Cundy responded: “Well use your brains! The second one is a blatant foul, he’s stopping an attack.
“I think this is brave refereeing. It’s the easy decision to book him once. He got it right, Michael Oliver is our best referee… if Martinelli doesn’t make the second foul and is booked for the original one, no one says anything.”
“He tried to stop a Wolves attack twice, both are bookable offences.”
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