BUKAYO SAKA hobbled off for Arsenal after being brutally chopped down by a wild James McArthur kick.
The Crystal Palace midfielder was only shown a yellow card just before half-time in their clash with Arsenal on Monday night, as the England international was in agony on the ground.
James McArthur avoided a red card for this challenge on Bukayo SakaCredit: Sky Sports
Saka was left on the floor and tempers threatened to boil over just before half-timeCredit: Getty
McArthur took a wild swing of his right foot as the ball dropped out of London night sky.
The 34-year-old was beaten to it by Arsenal man Saka, who made the clearance on the edge of his own area.
But McArthur followed through with a full-on swipe at the ball, which connected with the back of Saka’s right leg.
England star Saka held his calf on the floor as players squared off and tempers threatened to boil over.
McArthur was shown a yellow by referee Mike Dean, but fans were left scratching their head as to why the punishment wasn’t harsher – with Mikel Arteta slamming the decision after the game.
The Gunners boss said: “It’s a clear red card. No intention to play the ball. I don’t know how with VAR he hasn’t been sent off.”
Palace chief Patrick Vieira, on the other hand, did his best Arsene Wenger impression as he insisted he “didn’t see it”.
‘It should have have been red’, says Mark Halsey
By Mark Halsey
JAMES MCARTHUR was extremely lucky not to receive a red card for a wild kick on Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka.
The Crystal Palace midfielder was late on the challenge, had no chance of winning the ball and booted Saka in his right calf at the end of the first half.
Ref Mike Dean showed McArthur a yellow card but I felt it was an act of violent conduct and further punishment could have been issued to the Scotsman.
As a result, Saka was forced off injured at half-time and later had an ice pack on his leg.
McArthur was also fortunate not to be cautioned earlier in the half for denying Emile Smith Rowe a promising attack at the Emirates.
Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal and Saka could have felt aggrieved as Dean showed inconsistency by later producing a yellow card to the wideman for the same offence on Jordan Ayew.
The Arsenal youngster was taken off at half-time in Monday night’s clashCredit: Getty
Meanwhile, One fan wrote on Twitter: “How is that not a red card for James McArthur? Deliberate MMA kick to Saka’s leg. Unbelievable.”
Another said: “James McArthur literally volleys Bukayo Saka in his calf, but escapes with only a yellow card.”
And another tweet read: “How is that not a red card on Saka?! have I missed something? McArthur is never getting anywhere near the ball!”
Saka was withdrawn at half-time and replaced by Albert Sambi Lokonga.
Arsenal led 1-0 at the break thanks to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s early goal at the Emirates.
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