Mikel Arteta admitted Granit Xhaka “overstepped the line” after the midfielder was shown a straight red card for grabbing Ashley Westwood by the throat during Arsenal’s 1-0 loss to Burnley.
“We were on top from the beginning to the moment of the sending off,” Arteta told Sky Sports. “We threw the game away.”
Xhaka was initially shown a yellow card for the incident, but referee Graham Scott changed his decision to a red after consulting the pitchside monitor at the Emirates Stadium.
Xhaka’s petulance proved costly for Arsenal, who had appeared in the ascendency early in the second half following a poor first-half showing, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s 73rd-minute own goal eventually consigning them to their seventh Premier League defeat of the campaign.
When asked if Xhaka’s behaviour was unacceptable in his post-match press conference, Arteta said: “Absolutely.”
“He’s made a mistake, clearly, that has cost us.
“We were prepared, knowing this was a game we clearly had to win, but with 10 men it makes it much more difficult. You give the opponent a chance and you end up losing on a set-piece.”