In pictures: Crystal Palace v Arsenal
Arsenal defender Takehiro Tomiyasu may have a bone to pick with teammate Kai Havertz following his dismissal against Crystal Palace on Monday evening. The defender was sent off for two bookable offences, though he will certainly feel that the blame did not lie with him for his first yellow card.
The Gunners managed to grind out a crucial three points at Selhurst Park with a 1-0 win over Palace thanks to Martin Odegaard’s penalty. However, clinging onto their one-goal lead was made significantly more difficult after referee David Coote showed Tomiyasu in the 67th minute.
The Japan international was initially booked in the 60th minute for being seen to be timewasting for a throw-in, before being given his marching orders just seven minutes later after tripping Jordan Ayew as he looked to break away down the right – though replays showed minimal contact between the two.
However, even though he will feel that his second booking was harsh, Tomiyasu could be equally as unhappy with his first yellow card due to the role Havertz played in the incident. The former Chelsea star was initially set to take the throw in and held onto the ball for a total of 15 seconds, which, obviously, captured the attention of Coote and the Palace faithful.
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The Germany international then decided against taking the throw and handed the ball to Tomiyasu and scurried away, who was then booked for holding onto the ball for a mere eight seconds as he weighed up his options before launching the ball down the line.
Tomiyasu will definitely have to hold his hands up and take responsibility for putting himself in a situation where he could be sent off whilst already being on a yellow card, but it would be no surprise if he was to feel somewhat jeopardised by Havertz.
The summer signing was eventually booked against Palace anyway, going into the book after he shoved Joachim Andersen to the ground in the 94th minute whilst chasing a hopeful long pass before smashing the ball away to run down the clock.
Tomiyasu’s one-game suspension will leave Mikel Arteta with a significant puzzle to solve in picking his backline to face Fulham at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday. With Jurrien Timber ruled out through injury and Oleksandr Zinchenko still working his way back to full fitness, Arsenal could rely on Kieran Tierney to return to the starting eleven despite reports linking him with a move away from North London.
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