Football News

“I had to foul him” – Arsenal midfielder Guendouzi holds his hands up to Zaha ‘NFL tackle’

By CJ Smith

Published: 10:44, 28 October 2019

Arsenal midfielder Matteo Guendouzi says he had no choice but to bring down Wilfried Zaha during Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace.

The Gunners were 2-0 up within 10 minutes of the Emirates clash with centre-backs Sokratis and David Luiz both getting on the scoresheet.

Should Guendouzi have been sent off? Five things to know…

  • Arsenal threw away a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2 with Palace on Sunday.
  • The Gunners had a seemingly legitimate winning goal disallowed by VAR.
  • Moments later, Zaha raced down the other end of the pitch but was hauled down by Guendouzi.
  • The Frenchman says he had no choice but to stop the Ivorian.
  • Guendouzi was booked by Gary Cahill believes the challenge was worthy of a red card.

But Unai Emery’s men threw away their two-goal lead with a Luka Milivojevic penalty and a Jordan Ayew strike bringing the Eagles level.

And just moments after Arsenal had inexplicably had another Sokratis goal chalked off by VAR, Zaha raced down the other end on the counter-attack, only to be hauled down by Guendouzi in cynical fashion.

“I had to foul Zaha at the end, otherwise he is through on goal on his own,” Guendouzi told Arsenal’s official website.

“We really wanted to win the game, so we attacked a lot towards the end to get the third goal. We allowed spaces [for Palace on the break] but it’s because we really wanted to win.”

The point on the road for the Eagles was enough to keep them in the top six of the Premier League, just a singly point behind Arsenal and five away from the Champions League places.

Cahill: Guendouzi should have been sent off

Given the distance between Zaha and the Arsenal goal, Guendouzi’s foul was always going to result in a yellow card given the current rules of the game.

However, Palace defender Cahill believes there should have been a harsher punishment handed to the Frenchman, who he believes stopped a goalscoring opportunity.

Cahill said: “We could have nicked it at the end with the obvious rugby tackle on the halfway line which was a professional foul but if Wilf skips away from there then who knows what happens at the end?”