Ben White gave a sarcastic response when questioned about Granit Xhaka’s latest rush of blood to the head which forced Arsenal to play with just 10 men from the 24th minute onwards against Liverpool last night.
Already depleted due to injuries and the international commitments of their African players, the Gunners suffered another setback when Xhaka was given his marching orders for a professional foul on Diogo Jota just past the midway point of the first-half.
Xhaka has now been sent-off five times in his Arsenal career and will be suspended from Sunday’s pivotal north London derby against Tottenham which could play a big part in determining his side’s top four hopes.
Despite the numerical disadvantage, Arsenal clung on for a creditable 0-0 draw which keeps alive their chances of reaching the Carabao Cup final ahead of next week’s second leg at the Emirates Stadium.
White produced a man of the match display at the heart of Arsenal’s defence, but confessed that playing with 10 men was far from ideal, while having to stage a rearguard action against elite opposition was ‘terrible’.
‘Yeah, not ideal is it,’ said the £50million signing from Brighton when asked for hs reaction to Xhaka’s red card.
‘But there’s so much fight in this team and it showed today we dug deep and got the result we needed.’
On whether referee Michael Oliver was right to bring out his red card, White added: ‘I don’t know, he’s looking at the ball, he doesn’t know where the man is but it is what it is and the boys did well today.
‘It’s hard enough to come here with 11 men and to get one sent-off straight away is not good but absolutely superb from everyone today.
‘It’s not easy at all especially against a team like Liverpool. It’s tough, you have to concentrate the whole game and you know a bit of luck we had the result we had.
‘It was terrible, it’s nice to defend like that as a defender and keep clean sheet.’
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