Napoli 2 Arsenal 0: Arteta baffled by red card, reveals Wenger
Napoli 2 Arsenal 0: Arsene Wenger defends midfielder Mikel Arteta after Spaniard was sent off in second half
Arsene Wenger felt Mikel Arteta was unlucky to be sent off after Arsenal were beaten by Napoli in the Champions League on Wednesday.
Second-half goals from Gonzalo Higuain and Jose Maria Callejon sealed victory for the home side but the Gunners still made it through to the last 16 as Group F runners-up.
Arteta was given his marching orders in the 75th minute after being booked for a dangerous lunge on Valon Behrami, before receiving another yellow card for a foul on Callejon.
And Wenger revealed that the Arsenal captain was stunned by referee Viktor Kassai’s decision to send him off.
“He’s absolutely convinced that he didn’t make a foul and it was very harsh but he already had a yellow card,” said Wenger.
“It’s always difficult in the middle of the park. I felt it was a very harsh second yellow card.”
Wenger’s side will face either Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid or Barcelona in the last 16.
But despite the class of opposition that awaits, the Gunners boss insisted he was just happy to see his side through after a tough encounter at the Stadio San Paolo.
“We are happy to be through because it was very difficult,” said the Arsenal boss.
“We took it very seriously but in the second half we dropped physically a lot, we had a game on Sunday.
“Napoli played very well tonight but we were a little bit on edge for some minutes, it was nervous in the end, but we got through.”