Olivier Giroud will miss Arsenal’s Champions League game against Basel after his sending off against Paris Saint-Germain.
The Frenchman received a second yellow card after an altercation with Marco Verratti that wasn’t caught on camera.
Footage later emerged showing that referee Viktor Kassai was wrong to send Giroud off. Marquinhos pushed the Arsenal man into Verratti, who fell to the floor. One presumes the referee thought it was Giroud who caused the Italian’s tumble.
Arsene Wenger defended his player afterwards, saying the forward protested his innocence to him.
Verratti also received a red card but the referee certainly made a mountain out of a molehill. A simple talking to would have sufficed instead of two red cards.
Giroud wasn’t helped by the PSG pair and feels that Verratti’s reaction “escalated” the situation.
“Being on a yellow card, I didn't want to make waves," Giroud said, per the Mirror.
"I obstructed Verratti, he threw himself to the ground and I don't understand. Marquinhos pushed me from behind and I don't know how Verratti falls a second time.
“It escalated the situation. It's frustrating, especially since I don't know if the referee saw what happened. I was really surprised at his behaviour."
Arsenal can appeal the decision and given that it seems Kassai acted on what he thought had happened, rather than what he actually saw, they could stand a good chance of seeing it overturned.
Wenger revealed afterwards that he spoke to Giroud and Verratti, with both admitting they were innocent of any wrongdoing.
"The ball was on the other side, I did not see what happened," Wenger said. "I think the first yellow card [for Giroud] was very harsh already, it wasn’t a foul.
"The second, he tells me he has done nothing at all and Olivier is honest so I believe him.
"And Verratti told me as well that he has done nothing, so I said look, ‘go together to see the referee and tell him you did nothing’."
Arsenal will expect to beat Basel at the Emirates Stadium even without Giroud, who hasn’t scored this season.
Was Giroud's red card unfair? Give us your thoughts in the comments section below!
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