Mikel Arteta Red Card: How Arsenal Will Cope in Star's Absence
Moments after scoring his first goal of the season and putting Arsenal ahead 1-0 in their matchup with Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Saturday, Gunners' midfielder and captain Mikel Arteta was sent off, forcing his side to play a man down for the final 25-plus minutes, per Premier League on Twitter:
The red card was a result of a silly tackle attempt made by Arteta on Eagles' forward Marouane Chamakh
Arteta was the second midfielder to leave the game for Arsenal on Saturday as Mathieu Flamini was forced off in the eighth minute after picking up an injury, per Premier League on Twitter:
SUB Arsenal are forced into a change after 8 mins, Mathieu Flamini limping off injured and teenager Serge Gnabry replacing him #CRYARS— Premier League (@premierleague) October 26, 2013
Fortunately for Arsene Wenger, whose side went on to win 2-0 on Saturday, he can still rely on Mesut Ozil, Santi Cazorla and Aaron Ramsey to link up with Olivier Giroud and create scoring chances moving forward.
Wenger will still have productive pieces to rely on in Arteta's absence, so there's no reason to panic.
If anything, the Gunners lose an experienced and cool-headed presence and penalty taker for a brief period.
What does Mikel Arteta's potential absence mean for Arsenal?
Given the level of competition Arsenal will face in the coming days, Arteta's red card certainly comes at a bad time. The Gunners will take on Chelsea and Liverpool over the next week and could therefore have used the Spaniard to help keep up their winning ways.
While the veteran demonstrated very little poise in making the tackle that resulted in his red card, his calm approach to his penalty kick just minutes earlier shows why Wenger confidently named him captain ahead of Saturday's match and why he's a key piece for this team moving forward.
The good news for Arsenal is that Arteta's punishment should be brief and there are other top-level midfielders to pick up the slack in his absence.
Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter.
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