In pictures: Crystal Palace v Arsenal
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta remained tight-lipped after Takehiro Tomiyasu’s controversial red card in Monday’s 1-0 win against Crystal Palace. Kai Havertz may have accidentally contributed to the Japanese defender’s dismissal, which caused a nervy conclusion at Selhurst Park.
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Tomiyasu saw red in the 67th minute due to two yellow cards, but both bookings caused mass debate.
Seven minutes earlier, the 24-year-old was booked for time-wasting after Arsenal took 23 seconds to take a throw-in while they were 1-0 ahead through Martin Odegaard’s penalty.
However, replays showed that it was, in fact, Havertz who held onto the ball for a lengthy 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 down the line. He was then shown his marching orders for tripping Jordan Ayew as the Palace forward broke down the right, despite their being minimal contact.
And after full-time, Arteta was questioned whether he understood why the Gunners defender was dismissed.
The Spaniard replied, with a hint of sarcasm: “I’m a really open person, I understand everything.”
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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 praise for substitutes Gabriel Magalhaes, Jorginho, Jakub Kiwior and Oleksandr 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.”
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Arsenal will hope to continue the perfect start to their latest Premier League title charge in two home fixtures at the Emirates Stadium before the season’s first international break.
The Gunners host Fulham on Saturday before Erik ten Hag’s currently out-of-sorts Manchester United side visit north London.
Arsenal have showcased their ability to grind out hard-fought wins in the first two weeks of the campaign, beating both Nottingham Forest and Palace by a single goal.
And Arteta’s men will need to maintain that ability if they are to go one step further and beat Manchester City to their first title since 2004.
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