Arsenal Football Club have suffered another unnecessary sending off in a crucial Premier League clash, with summer recruit Gabriel Magalhaes given his marching orders after a second yellow card.
In the 61st minute of tonight’s tie, Gabriel paid the cost for what’s starting to look like a key flaw as he put his hands across Walcott and dragged the attacker down after he was spun following a goal kick.
The Brazilian defender appears to be somewhat headless when it comes to challenges on the halfway line – well forward of the position he should ideally be holding as a centre-back.
This flaw was punished for Walcott’s opener in the 17th minute and also occurred in the buildup to Heung-Min Son’s absolute beauty in the north London derby.
Gabriel consistently seems to be pressuring attackers on the halfway line, but keeps coming out second best whether that’s because he’s rushing in too recklessly or he’s just not strong enough.
There’s really no excuse for the 22-year-old either, Gabriel’s woes in this area were highlighted by some fans tonight very clearly.
Another RED CARD for @Arsenal ?
— Amazon Prime Video Sport (@primevideosport) December 16, 2020
Pictures from Prime Video Sport and Optus Sport.
Gabriel’s sending off comes days after Granit Xhaka’s costly departure in the defeat against Burnley and also after Nicolas Pepe saw red in a draw against Leeds a few top-flight games ago.
At this point the cash-strapped Gunners’ fine piggybank will be standing quite high, however we doubt these funds will be used towards a Christmas party or special occasions given their poor form.
Like I’ve said before, at this point, Mikel Arteta really needs to drum the importance of keeping discipline on the pitch, this is another sending off that has drastically affected one of the side’s league games.