Mikel Arteta’s immediate reaction to Granit Xhaka red card made feelings crystal clear

Granit Xhaka leaves the field while Mikel Arteta looks away from his seat
(Image: Michael Regan/Getty Images)


Oliver wasted no time in reaching for his back pocket and Xhaka barely protested the decision.

As he trudged off the pitch, manager Arteta refused to leave his seat and interact with Xhaka as his immediate reaction made it crystal clear he was far from happy with what he had just seen.

Instead, the Gunners boss was pictured in discussion with assistants Steve Round and Albert Stuivenberg to determine what alterations should be made in the wake of the red card.

The Carabao Cup represents Arsenal's last realistic chance of silverware this season following Sunday night's humiliating defeat away at Nottingham Forest.

As well as the issues on the night playing a man down, Xhaka's red card brings repercussions beyond the final whistle at Anfield.

The midfielder will now be ruled out of the next two Arsenal fixtures at a pivotal stage of the season.

Arteta's men make the short trip across north London on Sunday to take on fierce rivals Tottenham Hotspur without one of their first-team mainstays as Xhaka serves his suspension.

Michael Oliver had little hesitation in his decision to send Granit Xhaka off
(Image: Chloe Knott – Danehouse/Getty Images)

They will meet Spurs with one recognised first-team regular in midfield in the form of Albert Sambi Lokonga as both Mohamed Elneny and Thomas Partey are away on international duty with their respective nations at the Africa Cup of Nations.

This dismissal marked Xhaka's second red card of the season, the first coming away at Manchester City while the score was 2-0 to Pep Guardiola's side.

City eventually ran riot after Xhaka was ejected from the game and ran out 5-0 winners.

Arsenal managed to see out the first half without conceding to Liverpool despite wave after wave of attacks from the hosts.