Granit Xhaka incident gives Arsenal boss Arteta more reason to be upset

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has every right to be upset at the yellow card Granit Xhaka received during Saturday’s 1-0 win at Aston Villa. Arteta has criticised referees and the PGMOL at different stages this season.

  1. Arsenal have received three red cards in the Premier League this term. They have collected more than any other team since Arteta became the club’s manager in December 2019.

Xhaka has received two reds this season, one of which came in the Carabao Cup semi-final against Liverpool. He was not sent off at Villa Park on Saturday but there was a decision that has left many Arsenal fans scratching their heads.

In the first minute of first-half stoppage time, Xhaka was given a yellow by referee Andy Madley for a foul on Villa star Emi Buendia. On the face of it, the yellow seemed to be harsh.

Madley, however, made it clear that he had shown the yellow due to an accumulation of fouls. Madley pointed to three separate areas of the pitch, as if Xhaka had made three fouls.

The midfielder could be seen saying to Madley: “Where’s three times?” Xhaka was right to question the referee as it was in fact his first foul of the match.

Xhaka was officially booked for ‘persistent fouling’ despite not committing an offence before the yellow. Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher appeared on Sky Sports News on Monday to discuss why Xhaka was booked.