Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud was involved in a controversial physical altercation with PSG midfielder Marco Veratti which saw both men being sent off in the dying minutes of their Champions League encounter.
Giroud said that he was bewildered by the altercation between him and Veratti, saying that the referee had been tricked by the Italian midfielder.
“I’d already been booked so didn’t want to make trouble,” Giroud said, according to The Guardian.
“I made a small challenge on Verratti but he threw himself on to the ground. I didn’t understand, so I asked him: ‘What are you doing?’ Then he got up quickly and Marquinhos pushed me from behind.”
After the push, Giroud bumped into Veratti, who fell over for the second time, leading to second yellow cards for both players.
“I don’t know how Verratti fell over a second time. I didn’t go looking for trouble so it’s frustrating. I think that the referee was tricked. Verratti was also on a yellow, so I was surprised by his behaviour.”
Giroud came on in the second half after Arsene Wenger opted to start winger Alexis Sanchez up-front instead. The 29-year-old still ended up receiving two yellow cards and being sent off for the second consecutive Champions League opening group game for Arsenal.
The Frenchman will miss the Gunners’ next match against Swiss club FC Basel. Sanchez could continue in the role of a striker, but it would be more logical to give Spaniard Lucas Perez his Champions League debut as a Gunner.
Marco Veratti will also miss the game against Bulgarian club Ludogorets, and PSG will surely miss the player who controlled the midfield for them against Arsenal. Group A is interestingly poised, with both matches ending in 1-1 draws, but both PSG and Arsenal are massive favourites to win comprehensively against the two minnows of the group.