Arsenal were able to hold on for the final 20 minutes with 10 men at Wolves to win 1-0 and move into fifth; Gabriel Martinelli was sent off for two bookable offences in the same passage of play; “I’ve never seen something like it,” said Gunners boss Mikel Arteta after the win
Gabriel Martinelli was sent off in bizarre circumstances after the Arsenal forward received two yellow cards in five seconds for two separate incidents.
Mikel Arteta has demanded answers from the PGMOL, the Premier League’s official referee body, on the back of Arsenal’s fourth red card in six games.
The Gunners were able to hold on for the final 20 minutes at Wolves without Martinelli to win 1-0 and move into fifth place in the Premier League after top-four rivals Manchester United and Tottenham had dropped points earlier in the week.
Martinelli was sent off for two bookable offences in the same passage of play – shoving Daniel Podence as he took a throw-in and then barging over Chiquinho after Michael Oliver had played the advantage.
The Gunners have had a long-running issue with red cards under Arteta but with this their fourth in six games, the Arsenal boss suggested he will raise the issue with the Professional Game Match Officials Limited group, which runs refereeing for the Premier League.
“I need an explanation with what happened today. Those discussions will happen soon.”
Although Arteta was bemused by Oliver’s decision, he also made it clear his players need to avoid getting themselves into similar situations.
to be a scrappy affair at Molineux against a potential top-four rival, but they dug in to get their first win of the new year and Arteta was delighted with the performance.
Mikel Arteta highlighted the commitment of his Arsenal players after the win
“I am really happy with the result because it is a massive result for us away against a very good team that makes few errors and is very dangerous,” said Arteta.
“The red card changes the context. We had to dig in, show resilience, and we have defended the box really well.
“I keep telling you guys how close they are. I really mean it. Today was another example but there are so many. I am proud to be the coach of these players.”
Christian Eriksen: Denmark international on returning to Premier League with Brentford
Christian Eriksen says it is a miracle he is back playing football for Brentford
Christian Eriksen says it feels like a miracle to be able to resume his career with Brentford after collapsing while playing for Denmark at Euro 2020 last summer.
The 29-year-old has been fitted with an implanted cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD), a type of pacemaker, after suffering cardiac arrest.
He has joined the Bees on a six-month deal after his release by Inter Milan.
“The first thing is to show the gratitude,” Eriksen told BBC Sport.
“To the people around me, the team-mates, the doctors first on the pitch, the team doctors and paramedics and then at the hospital, to do everything and check everything.
“Then all the messages from people to show support for me and what my family have been through. It has been really lovely to see all the grateful messages.
“I am very lucky and I have told them face to face, I am very happy they did what they did otherwise I would not be here.”
He added: “For me it was unlucky in a lucky place. I wouldn’t hope anyone to get it, I never thought I would get it myself when it happened but in the place it happened I was lucky with the people around me acting so quickly. I was really grateful the doctors were in that place.
“It was lucky I had all the possibilities around me. They had all the possibilities to get me back as quickly as they did and I am 100% grateful for that.”
Eriksen says he feels in better condition now than before the incident, will do everything he can to reach his former playing level and does not fear the challenges ahead.
“I won’t change my style of play,” added Eriksen. “I have had the time to be disciplined for the last six months to do extras, so even now maybe I am in a better condition than before, just the football missing.
“I feel like me so don’t see a reason why I can’t get back to the same level.”
In a wide-ranging interview, Eriksen also discusses:
His memories before and after the incident
What it means to be fitted with an ICD
Returning to London and the Premier League
Why he has no fears about playing again
‘I was gone from this world for five minutes’
The day of 12 June 2021 will be a date etched in Eriksen’s memory, one when he remembers all but the five minutes in which he was “gone from this world until they got my heartbeat back”.
Denmark were playing Finland in their opening game of the Euros, delayed by a year because of Covid, when the midfielder collapsed on the pitch in the 41st minute.
He received CPR and after 15 minutes of treatment was carried off on a stretcher. Eriksen was awake in hospital and, after a delay of about three hours, the match resumed with Finland winning 1-0.
“I can remember everything apart from the five minutes,” he explained. “I was told afterwards it was five minutes, otherwise I remember everything – the throw in, the ball hitting my knee and then I don’t know what happened after.
“Then I woke up with people around me and felt the pressure on my chest, trying to get my breathing back, and then I woke up – I opened my eyes and saw people around me, I didn’t really understand what was going on.
“At that time I had no idea what had happened, then it goes through my head: ‘Did something happen with my legs? Did I break my back? Can I lift my leg up?’ – all small things I was trying to do to see what happened.
“Then in the ambulance I heard someone say ‘how long was he out for’ and someone said ‘five minutes’ and that was the first time I had heard I was gone.”
Asked if it will feel like a miracle to return, Eriksen added: “Definitely. I think it will get more and more obvious the closer it gets to being in a real game – being in a stadium, being in a game, you get all the emotion and adrenaline from that.”
‘If anything happens I am safe’