‘I don’t understand the rules’ – Arteta confused by VAR role in Nketiah red card

The 21-year-old striker was sent off for a harsh challenge just four minutes after he came off the bench in the draw

Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta has admitted he is unsure of the rules regarding VAR after Eddie Nketiah was sent off throughout the 1-1 draw against Leicester on Tuesday.

Nketiah was shown a red card while the hosts were leading 1-0 and just four minutes after that he came off the bench.

Referee Chris Kavanagh consulted VAR before dismissing the forward for a rough challenge on James Justin with just 15 minutes left in the Premier League encounter and the Foxes returned to rescue a point via a late Jamie Vardy goal.

VAR’s role in the decision perplexed the Gunners boss, who was happy with his side despite the draw. 

“I don’t understand the rules. I never see a referee check any of the images. But I can do nothing now, it is the rules,” that he told Sky Sports.

“We lost two points, we lost Eddie and we will see now for how many games. But we go to Spurs now and try to win three points.”

He added: “I am exceptionally proud of we, the way we played against this type of opposition. We should have been three or four-nil up. With the red card you have to know he could be a young kid. Leicester should play with 10 men after 42 minutes. For a challenge between the 40th and 45th minute.

“They played tremendously well. The recovery time is difficult but you can see the effort the players are putting in. I am extremely proud of the players. We have to learn as well. When you have this kind of opposition and you are on top you have to kill them when you can.”

Arsenal goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez says the incident was the turning point in the game, as that he believes his side should have taken the three points.

“100% [we should have won],” he told BBC Sport. “Before Eddie Nketiah got sent off we played an outstanding game and should have scored several goals. We defended well and we’ll have to be satisfied with a draw, we wished to win.

“I know Eddie, he could be not an aggressive player. He slipped and did not desire to injure him and the red card is harsh. We know Eddie and we know he could be a nice guy,

Article continues below

“Somtimes you score, sometimes you don’t. Before the red card we looked solid and I did not need to make a save your self in the second half.

“I know I am going to concede goals but hopefully I can keep more clean sheets for this club. That is one thing we have to work on and disappointed to concede at the end.”

Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers, meanwhile, defended the Arsenal forward regarding the incident, telling BBC Sport: “It was a red card. I don’t think the kid meant it, he was stretching for it but the studs were up. I think they made the right decision.”