Arteta apologises to Meyer for Aubameyang’s tackle

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta apologised to Crystal Palace midfielder Max Meyer for the tackle which earned Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang a red card in the 1-1 draw at Selhurst Park.

The Gunners captain, who opened the scoring in the 12th minute at Selhurst Park, was given his marching orders with 67 minutes on the clock.

Aubameyang caught Meyer high on the ankle and, although referee Paul Tierney cautioned him originally, VAR upgraded it to a red card and he will now serve a three-match ban.

It was a case of deja vu for boss Arteta, who had no complaints over the decision, as he also scored and was sent off away to Palace in the Premier League for Arsenal back in October 2013.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (second left) was sent off at Selhurst Park
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (second left) was sent off at Selhurst Park

Arteta said: “I just watched it. It looked nasty to be fair. We know there is no intention to make such a tackle.

“Hopefully he (Meyer) hasn’t been injured and we are sorry for that. They made a decision and we have to accept it.

“It is a massive blow (to lose Aubameyang). You know how important Auba is for the team and we lose him for a couple of games.”

After a dominant opening half an hour, Arsenal’s control of the London derby waned with Palace improving before the break.

Hodgson’s team continued to pose more questions of the visitors’ defence and got deserved reward in the 54th minute when Jordan Ayew’s shot took a deflection off David Luiz and looped over Bernd Leno in the Gunners goal.

Arteta’s side had switched off from a free kick which allowed Jairo Riedewald to pass into Meyer’s path in space and it was his cross which led to the hosts levelling the scores.

The 37-year-old added: “At this level, in the Premier League, you switch off for two seconds and you concede a goal.

“I will have to find a way to try to avoid those situations, but it happened today and it cost us two points.”

Hodgson felt the right decision occurred when Aubameyang received his marching orders, although was surprised it took two-and-a-half minutes for the team in Stockley Park looking at the decision to reach a conclusion.

Roy Hodgson is sure Aubameyang did not intend to hurt Meyer
Roy Hodgson is sure Aubameyang did not intend to hurt Meyer

Palace’s manager also insisted he did not think Arsenal’s top goalscorer meant to hurt Meyer, but does believe the German has suffered some type of ankle ligament damage.

“Max is not happy,” Hodgson admitted. “I knew at the time, because it was very close to me, that it was a bad challenge.

“I am not accusing Aubameyang of trying to injure the player, I am sure he didn’t. It is the type of a challenge forwards sometimes make.

“When I saw it after the game, the same thing the people I presume at Stockley Park saw, there is no doubt it is a red card and a bad challenge and I am a little surprised we had to wait so long for that decision to be taken.”