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Mikel Arteta reveals what Eddie Nkteiah told Arsenal teammates after red card

Mikel Arteta reveals what Eddie Nkteiah told Arsenal teammates in dressing room after red card
The young striker hadn’t even touched the ball before he was sent off (Picture: Reuters)

Mikel Arteta has revealed that Eddie Nketiah apologised to his teammates after getting sent off against Leicester City – though the Arsenal boss insists he has nothing to be sorry for.

The north Londoners took an early lead against their Champions League-chasing rivals on Tuesday night, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang netting following a fine cross from Bukayo Saka.

Arsenal could have extended their lead but the game turned when Nketiah, just on as a substitute, mistimed a challenge, with referee Chris Kavanagh consulting his pitch-side monitor on the recommendation of VAR before upgrading the punishment to a red card.

Mikel Arteta reveals what Eddie Nkteiah told Arsenal teammates in dressing room after red card
Leicester equalised shortly after Nketiah was shown his red card (Picture: Getty)

Leicester dominated against 10 men Arsenal in the closing stages and got an equaliser through Jamie Vardy, with Nketiah ruing his challenge for costing the side afterwards – though Arteta had plenty of sympathy for his frontman.

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Asked how Nketiah had taken the red card, Arteta said at his post-match press conference: ‘He’s disappointed, he said sorry and he doesn’t need to do that.

‘I know when he goes for every single ball it’s because he’s so willing to win every challenge, to be on the front foot in every action.

‘He didn’t see the player coming up and obviously he doesn’t want to hurt anybody.

‘So it’s part of the process. They are really young, they need to learn from this situation and hopefully it won’t happen again.’

Asked if he will be relying on senior heads like Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette to put an arm around the youngster, Arteta continued: ‘Absolutely. I think we have to support him.

‘There are a few things that happened why we didn’t end up winning the game, it’s not just that action.

‘Obviously against top opposition playing against 10 men you make it really difficult for yourself and it’s something that we have to improve as a team.’

MORE: Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta claims Jamie Vardy should have been sent off before Eddie Nketiah red card

MORE: Ashley Cole delivers verdict on Kieran Tierney after Man of the Match display for Arsenal against Leicester City

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