‘If Eddie is a red card for sure the other is a red card’: Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta fumes after Jamie Vardy avoids sending off for kicking Shkodran Mustafi in the head… before Nketiah was given marching orders to swing game back in Leicester’s favour

  • Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta was fuming after Jamie Vardy was not sent off
  • Vardy fell and his studs hit Shkodran Mustafi in the face but was not punished
  • Later in the match, Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah was sent off for a tackle
  • Jamie Redknapp said Arteta has a right to be annoyed after Nketiah’s red card 

Mikel Arteta claimed Jamie Vardy should not have been on the pitch to deny ten-man Arsenal victory over Leicester with a late equaliser at the Emirates.

Arsenal head coach Arteta insisted Vardy should have been dismissed for kicking Shkodran Mustafi in the head as he fell following a first-half challenge between the pair.

Vardy escaped punishment, with the incident seemingly deemed accidental by referee Chris Kavanagh and not reviewed by VAR. 

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta was fuming after Vardy avoided a red card after first half incident

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta was fuming after Vardy avoided a red card after first half incident

The Leicester striker kicked Shkodran Mustafi in the face after falling over with defender

The Leicester striker kicked Shkodran Mustafi in the face after falling over with defender

It appeared that Vardy didn't mean to catch his studs in his face and was not punished

It appeared that Vardy didn’t mean to catch his studs in his face and was not punished

Arteta then saw his own striker, Eddie Nketiah, sent off in the 75th minute for a slightly mistimed challenge on James Justin following a lengthy Stockley Park review and pitchside monitor check from Kavanagh, just four minutes after coming off the bench.

To compound the situation for Arteta and Arsenal Vardy equalised with just six minutes left to cancel out Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s first-half opener.

Arteta said: ‘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.’

Later in the match, Eddie Nketiah sent off in the 75th min for a mistimed challenge on Justin

Later in the match, Eddie Nketiah sent off in the 75th min for a mistimed challenge on Justin

Rodgers responded, saying: ‘I haven’t seen it [the Vardy incident] to be honest and I didn’t even think about looking at it afterwards.’

On Nketiah’s dismissal, 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.’

Arsenal dominated the first half and Arteta said: ‘I’m extremely proud of the team. The way we played, how dominant we were, we should have gone three or four nil up and killed the game. That’s what you have to do when you play good opposition.’

Despite fighting back to salvage a draw, Leicester lost third place to Chelsea though the point took them four points clear of fifth-placed Manchester United.

Rodgers said: ‘We showed enough quality in the second half to win but it could be a very important point.’

Jamie Vardy equalised late on to salvage a draw for the Foxes as the race for top four heats up

Jamie Vardy equalised late on to salvage a draw for the Foxes as the race for top four heats up

After the match, Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp said that he can understand why Arteta was frustrated with Vardy not receiving a punishment as both challenges ‘endangered their opponent’. 

‘This is one where only Vardy can tell us whether he meant to do him or not,’ Redknapp explained post match.

‘He slips and then his right foot goes there, it looks really nasty.

‘Yeah it could be (endangering opponent). Did VAR check that? They obviously looked at it and thought he hasn’t meant to do it. 

‘I don’t think I have played with someone who has ever wanted to kick someone in the face. That doesn’t really enter your mind. I’d like to think he wouldn’t mean that but I can see what Arteta is saying.’

Vardy ended up scoring the equaliser for the Foxes in the 84th minute as Arsenal could only hold on to a draw after taking the lead through Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the first half.  

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