Former Arsenal star Ian Wright says he disagrees with Gunners boss Mikel Arteta over Tuesday night’s red card for Eddie Nketiah – and the decision not to send off Jamie Vardy.
Arsenal were held to a 1-1 draw by Leicester at the Emirates in the Premier League, halting their run of four straight wins.
Captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang put the home side ahead, only for Vardy to net a late equaliser to give the Foxes a share of the spoils.
The game spun on the sending off of substitute Nketiah, dismissed after VAR intervention and referee Chris Kavanagh using the monitor to upgrade an initial yellow card to red.
He had been on the field a matter of minutes after replacing Alexandre Lacazette, and hadn’t touched the ball before a high, late – but not malicious – challenge on James Justin.
Arteta post-game insisted he didn’t understand the rules after Kavanagh used his sideline monitor, while questioning why another incident – involving a clash between Vardy and Shkodran Mustafi in the first half – didn’t see the Premier League’s top scorer similarly sent off.
That decision would also have been looked at by VAR in their in-game processes, but was not called upon for any further action.
But Wright believes that the official ultimately made the correct call with both crucial decisions.
“That’s just purely accident that,” insisted Wright, when asked about the incident involving Vardy.
“You can see Jamie Vardy has just slipped. ‘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 Gunners were the better side for much of the match and, in the first half especially, created enough chances to extend their lead.
For Wright, their failure to take all three points came down to their inability to take those chances, not merely Nketiah’s dismissal.
“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.
“But tonight 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 the second half, they controlled it a lot better and the pressure was going to tell in the end.”
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