No Xhaka red appeal
> Wenger ready to accept midfielder’s red card, Pochettino positive after Baggies draw
ARSENAL MANAGER Arsene Wenger has revealed he will not be appealing the red card given to Granit Xhaka during the Gunners’ narrow 3-2 win over Swansea City.
The midfielder was controversially sent off 20 minutes from the end of Saturday’s match at the Emirates Stadium for a late tackle on Modou Barrow.
That forced the North Londoners to hang on to a victory which sent them level on points with Premier League leaders Manchester City.
But despite believing Xhaka had been on the receiving end of a rough decision, Wenger said he would not contest the dismissal.
“The sending off looked harsh,” said Wenger. “It was a definite foul but probably dark yellow. The referee went for a dark red. Will I be appealing it? No.
“He is not a dirty player. Do I need to speak to him? No. I think Barrow made a lot of it but you have to respect the decision. He has to learn from it. We kept our defensive shape with 10 men, everyone was completely focused.”
Arsenal were seemingly in control at 20 and 3-1 after Theo Walcott capitalised on defensive mistakes to score twice in seven minutes in the first half before Gylfi Sigurdsson pulled a goal back for Swansea.
A stunning volley from Mesut Ozil restored Arsenal’s two-goal cushion in the second half only for a goal by Swansea’s Borja Baston and Xhaka’s red card to set up a nervy finish for the home side.
“A comfortable afternoon finished in an uncomfortable way but we got over the line,” said Wenger. “We played in patches some fantastic football. We got over the line because we played with spirit.”
This was American Bob Bradley’s first game in English football and there were enough positive points for the Swansea manager to believe that the Welsh club can move away from the drop zone despite now sitting second-bottom with just four points.
“None of us walk out of here feeling good, but we’ve had a good week of training and we can see some good things that happened,” Bradley said.
“That game had many different parts. We started poorly. Defensively, the first two goals were not handled well, but we gave ourselves a real chance.
“We were slow to step out, we gave them too much space...We showed them too much respect.”
Meanwhile Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino was delighted at the character his team had shown after Saturday’s 1-1 draw away to West Bromwich Albion.
Victory would have extended Spurs run of victories in all competitions to six, but Pochettino was satisfied to keep his team’s record as the only unbeaten Premier League side this season.
The draw was the least the visitors deserved after forcing a man-of-the-match performance from Albion goalkeeper Ben Foster at The Hawthorns.
Nacer Chadli put the home side ahead against the run of play eight minutes from time.
Despite that setback, Spurs recovered
Arsenal’s Granit Xhaka is sent off by referee Jonathan Moss during Saturday’s English Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium. –