Arsenal legend Ian Wright has asserted Eddie Nketiah’s sending off against Leicester City was “purely an accident” but also insisted it was a deserved red card.
The 21-year-old committed a rough foul on James Justin and after consulting with the VAR, referee Chris Cavanagh dished out a straight red card for the Anglo-Ghanaian in what was his 11th Premier League appearance for Arsenal this season since returning on loan from Leeds United in January. He became the youngest Arsenal player to be sent off after Konstantinos Mavropanos.
Nketiah has scored two goals, the most recent coming in a 2-0 win at Southampton, while the other was in a 3-2 victory over Everton on February 23.
Cavanagh’s decision got coach Mikel Arteta disappointed, exclaiming he did not understand the rules even with the aid of VAR. The club will appeal the decision as Nketiah looks set to miss crucial league games against Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool as well as the FA Cup semi-final against current holders Manchester City.
Arsenal took the lead via Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, but Leicester equalised six minutes from time thanks to Jamie Vardy.
“That’s just purely an accident that. You can see Jamie Vardy has just slipped,” Wright was quoted saying in the Metro.
“He’s not trying to hit him in the face. That’s accidental. He [Arteta] can say whatever he likes about the sending off [for Nketiah] – it was a sending off- no matter what he says about his age and stuff.
“The fact is you look back at that game and you can say chances have been missed. Arsenal have to be more ruthless in that department. The creativity in the past has not been great and that’s why we’ve been so dependent on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
“The way they played they deserved another couple of goals. That would have taken the sting out of Leicester. Arsenal may have been able to control the game a bit more and catch them again a couple of times but the longer it went on with a team like Leicester they’re going to think ‘We’re still in this’ and they did.
“They came out in the second half, they controlled it a lot better and the pressure was going to tell in the end.”
Tuesday’s draw leaves Arsenal in seventh spot, nine points away from the top four with four games left to end the season.