Mikel Arteta says he didn’t deserve his booking, joking he was waving at Gabriel Martinelli instead of protesting at the referee.
The Spaniard was shown a yellow card by official Tim Robinson in the 2-0 win against Brighton at the Emirates on Sunday – his fourth caution of the season.
Arteta took exception to a number of fouls against Buklayo Saka with Seagulls stars receiving yellows for their offences.
Ben White was then cautioned for a pull back on Kaoru Mitoma, who then seemed set to escape punishment for a foul on Saka.
The ex-Gunners skipper could be seen looking animated on the sidelines, sarcastically waving his arms in the air in an apparent bid to get Robinson’s attention.
Robinson eventually booked Mitoma, before brandishing Arteta the same card in what was his return to the touchline after serving a one-match ban.
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But Arteta has stressed that he shouldn’t have found himself in the referee’s notebook, with his explanation sending Arsenal fans on social media into hysterics.
Speaking to beIN Sports following the match, the former Everton midfielder was asked whether he believes his caution was fair.
To which he stated: “No, I was waving to [Gabriel] Martinelli.”
With a wry smile on his face, Arteta then said, ‘See you’, before pacing out of the interview, much to the laughter of reporter Carrie Brown.
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Arsenal fans also found the funny side, as one X user posted: “He’s definitely taking the p***now.”
Another commented: “My manager has an amazing sense of humour.”
A third added: “He has been in the system & in England long enough know how to deal with them.”
This supporter then remarked: “Sounds like something Jose [Mourinho] would say.”
Meanwhile another simply stated: “I love my manager.”
Goals by Gabriel Jesus and Kai Havertz sealed the three points for the Gunners in a clash they dominated.
They finish the weekend top of the Premier League after Liverpool could only manage a goalless draw at home to Manchester United.