Arsenal boss Arteta baffled by McArthur foul on Saka in last-gasp draw with Palace

Obiajulu Chiagoziem

Mikel Arteta, Arsenal’s manager, having successfully guarded his team back in form, has questioned Mike Dean’s decision not to dismiss James McArthur in his rash tackle against Saka in Monday’s match against Crystal Palace which ended in a draw.

Arteta questioned this rash tackle on the grounds that even with the var, Mike Dean’s refusal to award a red card should be looked into.

He strongly believes visitors, Palace should have been reduced to 10 men just before half-time when McArthur caught Bukayo Saka with a late foot as they competed for an aerial ball.

“It’s a clear red card. [McArthur had] no intention to play the ball,” he told BBC Sport. “I don’t know how with VAR, he hasn’t been sent off.”

Arsenal first registered in the score sheet with Pierre Emerick Aubameyang scoring before halftime while Christian Benteke and Odsonne Èdouard of Crystal Palace stole the leading with their goals and goal from Alexandre Lacazette goal brought the game to a draw.

“After the [opening] goal, we didn’t manage the game well enough,” he added. “We didn’t have composure or control. It [the dip in performance] was for a long period, which is worrying.

“We started better in the second half. We had more control, and then we gave the ball away two times for the two goals.

“The most positive thing is we kept going. They kept believing until the end; that’s how we managed to get a point.” Mikel Arteta said.

Lacazette, who grabbed that late equaliser, also praised the hosts’ character, while paying tribute to the home crowd for providing much-needed energy.

“At the end, we could draw. The main thing was to avoid the loss,” said the French forward, whose last four Premier League goals at the Emirates have all come in London derbies.

“We wanted to win; we started well but then stopped playing. I think this is something we have to work on in the future. He [Arteta] told us when we play well, the fans are with us. This is what I tried to bring. 

“When the fans are with us, it gives us players energy. We need to give them what they want. We showed we have character. Even when we are down, we don’t give up.” Lacazette said.