Football

Olivier Giroud red card not surprising, admits Wenger

Giroud was sent off in the final minutes of the match (©GettyImages)
Giroud was sent off in the final minutes of the match (©GettyImages).

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has accepted referee Andre Marriner's decision to send off striker Olivier Giroud during Saturday's narrow 1-0 win against Fulham.

The Frenchman also believes the match official was correct to send off Fulham midfielder Steve Sidwell for a harsh challenge on Mikel Arteta after just 12 minutes.

Sidwell lunged in on Arsenal's Spanish midfielder, which left him squirming on the floor, but luckily he was able to get up and carry on for the rest of the game.

The tackle happened just in front of Marriner, who wasted no time in brandishing the red card for the English midfielder, who was featuring in his first game back since being sent off against Queens Park Rangers.

Marriner later on then sent off Giroud for a similar challenge, although replays appeared to show the Frenchman slipping in the process of making the challenge.

After the game, Wenger spoke to reporters and revealed that he believes the initial red card was correct - and that he knew Giroud would be sent off because of the earlier decision.

"I spoke with Giroud. He said to me that he slipped at the moment he went for the ball and it's confirmed by the television," Wenger told Arsenal.com. "I haven't seen it but he's not a tackler. He went over the ball and knowing that Sidwell had been sent off before, I had no illusion of the colour of the card.

"Sidwell's challenge was in front of me. I've seen that better. I think the referee had only the red card to give".

Wenger then carried on to speak about Arteta and the fact that he survived the rest of the match.

"He played the second half but I don't know how much damage it's done," the Gunners boss added. "It was a kick. I don't know if he has twisted his ankle a little bit or not. In this kind of things, it's just a question of a fraction of a second.

"If you are fully on your foot at the moment you get it, you break your leg. If you just ease a bit off [you can prevent injury]. Maybe that's why he got away with it".

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