Arsene Wenger has an interesting verdict on Granit Xhaka's red card

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An hour into Arsenal's home game against Swansea City this afternoon, the Gunners were in a very strong position.

Up 3-1 thanks to an impressive Mesut Ozil volley and two goals from Theo Walcott, Arsene Wenger's men looked primed to leave the Emirates with all three points. 

Within 10 minutes, however, their Welsh opponents had scored and Granit Xhaka had been sent off for a cynical challenge. Although the north London club held on, the red card - for a blatant trip on Modou Barrow - has been the subject of much debate ever since. Now, Wenger himself has come out and had his say.

As you might expect, the majority of Arsenal fans - except, perhaps Piers Morgan - are of the opinion that Xhaka was hard done by to be given his marching orders by referee Jonathan Moss.

And Wenger certainly didn't think it was a red card either when speaking to reporters after the game. Although he did admit it probably warranted more than your standard issue yellow card.

"It looked harsh to me – a dark yellow but the referee went for a bright red," the Frenchman explained, via Goal.

The Arsenal manager then went on to argue that Xhaka isn't a dirty player and that the Swansea opponent hadn't helped the Swiss midfielder's cause.

"He's not a dirty player at all but I think Barrow made a lot of it as well. You have to respect the decision and he has to learn from it.

"You have to respect the decision and he has to learn from it."

Here's the challenge for you to judge for yourself...

There's no doubt that Xhaka knew exactly what he was doing as he flung out a leg to prevent a Swansea break. However, with the foul taking place around the halfway line, a straight red was perhaps a little harsh.

As for Wenger's claim that the tough-tackling midfielder isn't a dirty player? His recent record certainly doesn't help him live up to his manager's view.

Xhaka's red against Swansea was the fifth time he has been dismissed since the start of the 2015-16 campaign. Nobody else in the top five divisions of European football can match that.

Despite Wenger protesting his player's innocence this evening, the Swiss star is unlikely to get any help from the Premier League should he and Arsenal attempt to appeal the red card.

That means the Gunners will be without him for at least one league fixture coming up, making the three points they eventually managed to wrap up against Swansea all the more important.

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Alexis Sanchez
Premier League
Mesut Özil
Arsene Wenger
UEFA Champions League
Theo Walcott

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