Tuesday, May 28News That Matters

Mikel Arteta makes frosty verdict to Havertz blunder in Arsenal win

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta remained tight-lipped after Takehiro Tomiyasu’s red card in Monday’s 1-0 win against Crystal Palace.

Kai Havertz may have contributed to the Japanese defender’s dismissal, which caused a nervy ending at Selhurst Park.

Tomiyasu was sent off in the 67th minute due to two yellow cards, but both bookings caused mass debate.

Seven minutes earlier, the 24-year-old defender was booked for time-wasting after Arsenal took 23 seconds to take a throw-in while they were 1-0 ahead through Odegaard’s penalty.

But, replays showed that it was, in fact, Havertz who held onto the ball for 15 seconds before throwing it to Tomiyasu, despite his team-mate walking on thin ice.

Tomiyasu only held the ball for eight seconds before launching it. He was then shown his marching orders for tripping Jordan Ayew as the Palace attacker broke down the right flank, despite their being minimal contact.

And after full-time, Arteta was asked whether he understood why the Gunners defender was dismissed.

The Spaniard replied, with sarcasm: “I’m a really open person, I understand everything.”

Arteta later told BBC Sport: “This is the standards. I don’t know how long it was.

“It wasn’t [23 seconds]. I think it was eight seconds. We might have to play with a stopwatch. It’s OK. We won the game, I’m happy.”

He also reserved special praise for substitutes Gabriel Magalhaes, Jorginho, Jakub Kiwior and Zinchenko for helping the visitors seal the three points with 10 men.

“Absolutely, and it shows how much we want it. When you see the players on the bench, the faces they have, when they want to come and help us, they are magnificent,” Arteta said on Sky Sports.

“They changed the dynamic of the game, and I thank them so much because they really contributed to the win.”

Arsenal will hope to continue the perfect start to their latest Premier League title charge in two home games at the Emirates before the season’s first international break.

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