Roy Keane appeared to have been proved right about Arsenal’s problem player after a gaffe from David Luiz led to his team’s capitulation against Wolves.
With the Gunners 1-0 up, Luiz tripped Willian Jose on the stroke of half-time at Molineux – starting his side’s collapse which saw their unbeaten run come to an end.
Luiz was sent off, with Ruben Neves equalising from the resultant penalty to cancel out Nicolas Pepe’s opener, before Joao Moutinho fired Wolves into the lead with a fine strike from distance in the second half.
And Arsenal’s misery was complete when Bernd Leno became their second player sent off after a bizarre handball outside the box.
Mikel Arteta’s side went into Tuesday’s clash targeting sixth spot – but are left languishing in 10th after their first defeat in eight Premier League games.
“There’s no getting away from that but he will still want some improvement,” Keane said of Arteta. “His hands are tied which is a big problem because he still needs a couple more players in.
“We saw again tonight that defensively – I still think David Luiz, Kieran Tierney and Rob Holding, there’s big question marks over them. Luiz still has that mistake in him.”
While the currently Tierney has gone on to be one of Arsenal’s best players, and Holding has become a mainstay at the heart of the defence, Luiz once again has a blot on his record – with Martin Keown stating on BT Sport that the defender has “got to learn”.
However, his centre-half partner has to take his share of the blame as well.
Luiz appeared unlucky to catch Jose’s leg – but he and Holding were certainly caught flat-footed by Jose’s run burst of pace which took the striker away from the defenders.
And the penalty gave Wolves a chance to change the momentum of a game in which the hosts had been second best until that point.
Luiz made his feelings clear on his Instagram story after the match, simply using the word “Unbelievable”, while Arteta was livid at the decision to send Luiz off., insisting he couldn’t see any contact.
“It was a big decision that changed the game and if they can justify that they got it right then I will hold up my hands and apologise,” said the Gunners boss.
“But I’ve seen the replay 10 times now and I’m sitting here and I still can’t see any contact.
“I would like to see if VAR have got a different angle and have seen something I can’t see. I’m watching it expecting to see something but I can’t.
“Of course it changed the game. We’ve had to play half the game without David. We dominated the first half and could have been three or four goals up.”