It was a Tuesday to forget for the Arsenal Football Club, as two sending-offs helped doom the 9-man Gunners in a 2-1 loss to Wolves at the Molineux Stadium.
The Gunners led 1-0 through Nicolas Pepe when David Luiz was sent off in a bizarre incident inside the box.
Wolves leveled through Ruben Neves’ penalty and Joao Moutinho’s scorcher gave the hosts a lasting lead before Gunners keeper Bernd Leno was sent off for handling the ball outside the box.
[ WATCH: Chaotic first-half highlights ]
Luiz was maybe eight yards from goal when he made minimal and likely inadvertent contact with the plant leg of an uncontested Willian Jose, felling the Wolves forward. VAR found nothing to overturn it.
“I’ve just seen the replay ten times in five different angles and I cannot see any contact,” Arteta said, via Football.London.
“If there is any contact it’s him with David. I don’t know if they have a different angle to what they have or you have. Those big decisions are like that but it’s nothing I can change at the moment. It was a big decision and they can justify if they got it right then I put my hands up and apologize. The only thing I’m saying is I’m sitting here and I cannot see any contact and it’s really frustrating because it’s a big moment in the game.”
Polite, but the frustration is equal parts palpable and understandable. Perhaps it’s just “one of those things” that cannot be legislated and — in some ways — why sport can never be black-and-white.
As if to show how rough Wolves’ lives have been lately, Arsenal was the superior team over the second 45 minutes and kept relative control even after going down to nine for the final 18 minutes.
“We were really animated at half time because we really wanted to win the game,” Arteta said. “We didn’t concede any chances but Moutinho scored a worldie.”