Gabriel sent off against Southampton as Arsenal reach unwanted red card lows

Gabriel Arsenal 2020-21
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The Gunners have now seen players sent off in back-to-back league games for the first time since 2011

Arsenal defender Gabriel was shown a second-half red card against Southampton on Wednesday, continuing a worrying disciplinary trend for the Gunners. 

With the match level at 1-1, Gabriel was turned by Theo Walcott and was forced to bring the former Gunner down when already on a yellow card. 

The referee did not hesitate to show the Brazilian a second yellow card, forcing Arsenal to play the final 28 minutes plus stoppage time with 10 men. 

Though the Saints had plenty of opportunities to win the match the Gunners held on for a 1-1 draw, snapping a three-game losing streak in the Premier League. 

Mikel Arteta will be worried about his side's disciplinary record, though, after yet another red card under his watch. 

Since Arteta’s first Premier League game in charge (Boxing Day 2019), Arsenal have been shown seven red cards, four more than any other Premier League side during that period.

In his post-match press conference, Arteta lamented his side being forced to play a man down yet again, while also hailing their fighting spirit to earn a point.

“It is very difficult to compete in this league when you play such a long period with 10 men," Arteta said. “And when you are struggling for results it makes it more difficult and complicated, but I think that the boys stand up for it and they showed again a lot of character and resilience.

“They never gave up and after 1-0 I was worried, because after this moment you can start to see players hiding. But they did completely the opposite."

Gabriel's red card also meant Arsenal have had players sent off in successive Premier League games for the first time since August 2011, when Emmanuel Frimpong (versus Liverpool) and Carl Jenkinson (versus Manchester United) were red carded in back-to-back matches. 

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Granit Xhaka was shown a red card in Arsenal's previous Premier League match, a 1-0 home defeat to Burnley, for putting his hand around the neck of a Burnley player. 

After Xhaka's moment of ill-discipline, Arteta was forced to insist that the Swiss international still had a future at the Emirates.