Arsene Wenger says Arsenal’s midfielders need to stay on their feet after Granit Xhaka’s late challenge on Burnley’s Steven Defour resulted in a second red card of the season for the Swiss.
While replays suggest the summer signing was a little unlucky to receive his marching orders on 65 minutes, referee Jon Moss, who also sent Xhaka off against Swansea earlier in the season, had no hesitation in reaching for his pocket.
Xhaka’s red looked to have been a costly when the visitors equalised in stoppage time; however, Alexis Sanchez’s last-gasp penalty ensured the Emirates celebrated a 2-1 win and three points.
At his post-game press conference, Wenger – who himself was sent to the stands for his furious reaction to the award of Burnley’s penalty – said:
“Xhaka’s red card? Honestly I have to look at it again.
“The noises I get is that it was a red card and he has to control his game and not punish the team with lack of control in his tackling.
“We don’t encourage our midfielders to go down on tackles, we want them to stand up and not to make these kind of fouls. If it’s a bad tackle, it’s a red card.”
Asked whether he was disappointed in Xhaka, he added: ”I’m disappointed that we played with 10 men, yes.
“We’ve had two red cards and four penalties [given against us] this season at home now. You cannot say that we make it easy for ourselves, or that we get it easy.”
Xhaka’s straight red card will result in a four-game ban meaning he’ll miss Saturday’s FA Cup game at Southampton, the home game with Watford, the visit to Chelsea and Hull’s visit to the Emirates on 11 February.