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Granit Xhaka issues apology after red card in Arsenal’s draw with Liverpool

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Arsenal star Granit Xhaka has apologised for his sending off against Liverpool and praised the 'spirited' performance his team-mates produced to come away from the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg with a goalless draw.

The major talking point of Thursday's stalemate at Anfield arrived in the 24th minute as Xhaka booted Diego Jota in the ribs while attempting to clear the ball to safety just outside the box.

Referee Michael Oliver showed Xhaka a straight red card for denying a goalscoring opportunity and the sending off means Mikel Arteta will be without the Swiss for the second leg at the Emirates, as well as Arsenal's upcoming league games versus Tottenham and Burnley.

The Gunners showed great character to keep Liverpool at bay with just ten men on the field but Xhaka's suspension leaves Arteta desperately short of options in the middle of the park ahead of an important week, with Thomas Partey, Martin Odegaard, Emile Smith Rowe and Mohamed Elneny all currently unavailable.

Speaking at his post-match press conference, Arteta said he was 'really proud' of the 'fight' and 'commitment' his players displayed in the wake of Xhaka's sending off.

On Xhaka's red card, Arteta said: 'I haven't seen it.

More: Football The Arsenal head coach is hopeful Saka will make a speedy recovery and return to fitness to face Spurs, with the youngster forced off in the 81st minute.

For more news relating to Spurs, visit our sister site Spurs Latest Live.
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