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'I've never seen anything like Martinelli's red card!' - Arteta says Arsenal 'suffered' in Wolves win due to decision

14:05 GMT 11/02/2022
Mikel Arteta FC Arsenal 23012022
The manager was perplexed at how the Brazilian was sent off for separate yellow cards in the same phase of play

Mikel Arteta said he has "never seen anything" like Gabriel Martinelli's red card during Arsenal's 1-0 win over Wolves on Thursday, which came after the striker was shown two yellows in the same phase of play.

Late in the second half, Martinelli first infringed upon a throw-in, with advantage being played, and moments later hacked down Chiquinho. Both offences were deemed worthy of yellow cards.

The Gunners have now seen four men red-carded in 2022, and since Arteta’s first game in charge of Arsenal on Boxing Day in 2019, they have received 15 red cards in all competitions, seven more than any other Premier League side.

What has been said?

"I've never seen that," Arteta said to BBC Sport when quizzed on Martinelli. "I've been 18 years in this country and I've never seen something like it.

"We made it even more difficult for ourselves playing with 10 men. We suffered a lot in the last 10 minutes. I've never seen anything like it."

Arsenal managed to hold on for all three points at Molineux despite a nerve-wracking finale, with Gabriel's 25th-minute effort proving to be the difference between the two sides.

Alexandre Lacazette captained the Gunners and was pleased with how they responded to adversity to emerge with a result that significantly boosts their top-four chances.

"This meant a lot and we showed a lot of good things for the rest of the season," he said.

"It's always stressful in this kind of game. I'm proud of my team because we handled it well [being down to 10 men]."

The bigger picture

Arsenal overtook Manchester United to move into fifth place in the Premier League after their latest win, and they have two matches in hand over fourth-place West Ham.

However, the red cards are a worrisome trend and Arteta has admitted that he has "run out of ideas" with regards to how to fix his team's disciplinary issues.

Martinelli became the third-youngest South American to be sent off in the Premier League (20 years, 237 days), behind Carlos Marinelli (18 years, 256 days) and Rafael (20 years, 191 days). Granit Xhaka, Thomas Partey and Gabriel have also been sent off since the start of the year.

Next up for Arsenal is a clash with Brentford on February 19, with another clash against Wolves set to follow at Emirates Stadium five days later.

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