Arsenal boss Arteta furious Nketiah was sent off after Leicester ace Vardy escaped red for kicking Mustafi in head


MIKEL ARTETA was left seething as Eddie Nketiah saw red while Jamie Vardy escaped without punishment.

Arsenal boss Arteta put Nketiah on during the second half of the clash against Leicester with his side leading 1-0.

But just four minutes after coming on, the young striker was sent off after mistiming his challenge on James Justin.

Arteta, though, believes Vardy should already have headed for an early bath.

The Foxes No9 tussled with Shkodran Mustafi just before half-time, with both players falling to the ground.

As they did, Vardy’s flailing boot caught the German in the face, cutting his face.

It is unclear whether Vardy intended to make contact with Mustafi – but Arteta was convinced the former England man should have been punished.

Arteta fumed: “The red card, he [Eddie] cannot see the player and didn’t want to hurt anybody. You have to understand he is a young kid.

“It can be a red card but Leicester have to play for ten men after 42 minutes. For one challenge between the 40 and 45 minutes.

“If we review incidents of that type we review them all. It has to be something equal for everybody because it changes the game for everybody.

“If Eddie is a red card for sure the other is a red card.”

The Vardy incident seemed to go unnoticed at the time before Arteta addressed it in his interview.

Upon reviewing it afterwards, though, Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp had sympathy for the Gunners boss.

“It can be a red, but then Leicester have to play with 10 men after 42 minutes.”

Mikel Arteta is adamant that if Nketiah’s challenge was a red then so was Jamie Vardy’s just before half-time.

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He said: “This is one where only Jamie Vardy can tell us if he meant to do him or not, because he slips and then they go in for a challenge and his right foot goes into [Mustafi’s] eye and it looks really nasty.

“I’d like to think he wouldn’t mean that, but I can see what Mikel Arteta is saying because it looks really dangerous and he’s caught him in his face with his studs.”

Leicester gaffer Brendan Rodgers was in no doubt Nketiah was right to be sent off, with referee Chris Kavanagh overturning his original decision to give a yellow card after consulting the pitch-side monitor.

Rodgers said: “He was just stretching but it ended up being a horrific challenge. It deserved a red card.

“It was certainly not intentional but it was dangerous on the stretch. To go in studs up, you see the contact on the knee, the referee made the right decision.

“I haven’t seen it [the Vardy incident]to be honest and I didn’t even think about looking at it afterwards.”

And Arteta’s mood was worsened when Vardy stayed onside to stab home at the back host to equalise and rescue a point for the Foxes.

The result leaves Arsenal in seventh as they missed out on the chance to leapfrog Wolves while Chelsea moved ahead of Leicester into third.


He’s only been on the pitch a few minutes! Chris Kavanagh sends Nketiah off for a high tackle, after watching replays using the pitch-side monitor.

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