Eddie Nketiah set an unwanted Arsenal Premier League record on Tuesday night as the Gunners played out a 1-1 draw with Leicester City.
With the Gunners leading 1-0 thanks to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s first half-strike, the Anglo-Ghanaian was introduced for Alexandre Lacazette in the 71st minute, nevertheless, he was sent off four minutes later by referee Chris Kavanagh.
He was punished for a reckless tackle on James Justin with the referee consulting VAR to confirm the youngster’s tackle worthy of expulsion. And that earned him a place in an undesirable Arsenal history book.
At 21 years and 38 days of age, Nketiah became the youngest player from the club to be expelled during an English topflight encounter since Konstantinos Mavropanos, also against the Foxes in 2018.
Before the game against Brendan Rodgers’ men, the forward had featured in nine games with two goals to his credit so far.
With this dismissal, he will not be available for manager Mikel Arteta when they head to the London Stadium for Sunday’s derby with Tottenham Hotspur.
Meanwhile, manager Arteta is perplexed with the referee’s decision, claiming he was uncertain of the rules regarding VAR, albeit, he is proud of his team’s performance.
“I don’t understand the rules. I never see a referee check any of the images. But I can do nothing now, it is the rules,” he told Sky Sports after the match.
“We lost two points, we lost Eddie and we will see now for how many games. But we go to Spurs now and try to win three points.
“I am extremely proud of our team, the way we played against this kind of opposition.
“We should have been three or four-nil up. With the red card, you have to know he is a young kid. Leicester should play with 10 men after 42 minutes. For a challenge between the 40th and 45th minute.”
In the same vein, goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez stated the red card incident was the game’s turning point.
“100% [we should have won],” he told BBC Sport.
“Before Eddie Nketiah got sent off we played an outstanding game and should have scored two or three goals. We defended well and we’ll have to be happy with a draw, we wanted to win.
“I know Eddie, he is not an aggressive player. He slipped and did not want to injure him and the red card is harsh. We know Eddie and we know he is a nice guy,
“Sometimes you score, sometimes you don’t. Before the red card, we looked solid and I did not have to make a save in the second half.”
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