Mikel Arteta has slammed the decision to allow Crystal Palace midfielder James Macarthur to stay on the pitch shortly before the break, after his malicious tackle on Bukayo Saka resulted in the wonderkid missing the second half.
The Gunners were 1-0 up at the time, and Saka had taken one for the team, when tripping his opponent and given away the foul as their side tried to push up the field, and duly received a yellow card in the process.
Macarthur clearly didn’t take the action too well however, as not a minute later he lashed out at the first given opportunity to take out our young star, but the official only brandished a yellow for what was deemed a wholly unnecessary action.
Saka limped for the remaining minutes of the half, but was unable to continue after the break, and Arteta believes his side were punished on the losing end on two counts following the incident.
“If we want to detect things that are really relevant in a game and can change a football match, then they have to be looked at,” Arteta explained after the final whistle(via Football365).
“That situation is not only affecting them, but we have to take the player off because of the action so it is affecting it two different ways. It is not right.
“You (need to) make a straight decision, when it is so clear and so obvious straight away and they have to play with 10 men.
“Bukayo could not continue, we had to take him off at half-time, I saw the action and I can’t believe how the player continued on the pitch.
“I don’t get it. With what we were explained at the start of the season and what happened tonight, it doesn’t make any sense.”
While I completely agree that the referee should have sent their player off, and that it is disgusting that we were forced to lose Saka for the second half, our team should still have been able to win at home without him and against 11 men, although the incident definitely needs to be looked at again by the powers-that-be.