Midway through the first half of Arsenal’s League Cup semi-final first leg, Granit Xhaka brought down Diogo Jota and received a red card for his troubles.
Arsenal then had to play almost 70 minutes with 10 men, grinding out a 0-0 draw that gives the team hope of progressing to a Wembley final.
Unfortunately, we still haven’t felt the full effect of the red card. Given this is Xhaka’s second red card of the season, he’s set to miss at least two games through suspension – and that’s if Michael Oliver gave the red for denial of a goalscoring opportunity.
If Oliver’s red was for violent conduct, we won’t see Xhaka for four games.
In the meantime, Arsenal are extremely low on senior central midfielders, and they could find Sunday’s North London derby and Thursday’s semi-final second leg a lot more difficult as a result.
Writing on Instagram, Xhaka took responsibility for the red.
“I want to apologise to everyone,” Xhaka said. “I am so proud of my team and the spirit that they showed to keep a clean sheet tonight.”
Arsenal are going to need to show that same spirit again over the next couple of games to keep their hopes of a trophy and top-four finish alive.