Arsenal young French midfielder Matteo Guendouzi will face no further action after an altercation with Brighton and Hove Albion’s Neal Maupay in Saturday’s Premier League game.
The incident happened after the final whistle of the weekend game which ended 2-1 in favour of Brighton, with Guendouzi appearing to grab Maupay by the throat.
The FA has confirmed that the altercation was not seen by the match officials at the time but, because it was subsequently reviewed by the VAR and no action was taken, Guendouzi will face no further punishment.
Maupay scored deep into injury time to complete a remarkable comeback win for relegation-threatened Brighton – their first victory of 2020.
Earlier in the game, Maupay fouled Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno during an aerial challenge, with the German ‘keeper stretchered off after 36 minutes with what looked to be a bad knee injury.
Speaking after the match, Maupay said he didn’t intend to hurt Leno but was critical of Arsenal players for “talking a lot” when they were leading through Nicolas Pepe’s opener.
Both Brighton and Arsenal have been “reminded of their responsibilities” following the confrontation between the two teams at the end of the game.
Brighton manager Graham Potter says that he’s not really surprised by FA’s decision and has urged his team to now look ahead to their game against Leicester on Tuesday.
“It’s up to the FA or Premier League to decide. I think it was an emotional moment. When a team loses in the last minute it’s a sore one and you expect emotions,” he said.
“I don’t think there was anything too serious. It’s one of those things. We move on and get ready for Leicester.”
Guendozi’s availability will be a relief for Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta, who will be without up to seven first-team players for their trip to Southampton on Thursday.
The club have confirmed Mari suffered a “significant” ankle injury that could rule him out for the season, while Xhaka sprained an ankle in the defeat.
David Luiz remains suspended for Thursday’s game after his red card at the Etihad Stadium
Calum Chambers (knee), Cedric Soares (head) and Sokratis Papastathopoulos (thigh) are already missing, leaving Shkodran Mustafi and Rob Holding as Mikel Arteta’s only fit centre-halves while Lucas Torreira also remains out.
Arsenal said they are hoping Xhaka, Soares and Torreira would be “aiming to return to training in the next two weeks”.
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