Unai Emery says referee Michael Oliver made a mistake sending off Ainsley Maitland-Niles as Leicester condemned Arsenal to a third defeat in quick succession to deal a hammer blow to our chances of a top-four finish.
The England under-21 international was booked for a barge on Ben Chilwell after just eight minutes and then got his marching orders 28 minutes later for a late challenge on James Maddison.
Up to that point, the Gunners had just about held the Foxes at bay but in the second half, we succumbed to Youri Tielemans’ header and Jamie Vardy’s late brace.
After the match, Emery couldn’t hide his disappointment at the first decision to punish his right-back.
“The first [yellow card] is not [a yellow card], for me,” he told his post-game press conference.
“I don’t agree with this decision for the first yellow card. It conditioned [the game] a lot.
“I think that maybe the first yellow card was not one. It was the seventh minute in the game. This one [the second yellow card], I don’t know but I respect the referee.”
Our attention now turns to Thursday’s Europa League semi-final with Valencia. While qualifying for the Champions League with a top four finish looks ‘very difficult’ we do still have our fallback option.
“We are going to think about Valencia in the Europa League,” said Emery.
“We have a big ambition in this competition. It’s a semi-final and it’s going to be difficult also. Then we play on Sunday against Brighton, and we need to win this match.
“At the beginning of the season we knew it was going to be very difficult, and today it’s the same.
“Our confidence can go up, can go down. But the most important is to be clear in our minds and our way. Our way is to think of this semi-final and prepare for the match in the best possible way.”