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Arsenal take on Brighton in Freddie Ljungberg’s first home game in charge
Three Arsenal players are walking a suspension tightrope for the Premier League clash against Brighton on Thursday night.
Any player who earns five bookings from his side’s first 19 Premier League matches of the season will have to serve a one-match ban.
This means Calum Chambers, Matteo Guendouzi and Granit Xhaka are all at risk of suspension if they pick up a yellow card against the Seagulls at the Emirates, having already accumulated four bookings apiece.
The ban would rule out any of the trio for the Gunners’ next league game, which is against West Ham United on Monday 9th December.
Chambers picked up his fourth caution in Arsenal’s 2-2 draw against Norwich on Sunday, as Freddie Ljungberg took charge of his first game as interim head coach.
The Swede was placed in charge after Unai Emery was sacked on Friday morning, following Arsenal’s poor run of form.
A brace from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang rescued the Gunners, after Norwich had twice taken the lead through Teemu Pukki and Todd Cantwell.
Arsenal were awarded a penalty in the first half after a handball in the box from Canaries defender Christoph Zimmermann.
Tim Krul had saved Aubameyang’s initial effort, but VAR ruled that it had to be retaken after encroachment from several Norwich players. The Arsenal top scorer made no mistake with his second spot kick.
After the game, Norwich boss Daniel Farke said he was not happy with the decision: “We put a great performance today against a great side: one point against Arsenal is always a great result. But we deserved to take all the three points.
“In general I was not happy with the quality of the decisions, each and every throw-in or corner-kick was given against us. Also the situation that led to the penalty against us, it was never a free kick on [Granit] Xhaka.
“And to retake this penalty was also a strange decision, just because somebody’s foot was inside the area. There were some strange decisions against us. But also because of some top-class saves from Leno we have not been able to win this game.”
Ljungberg said he was pleased with his side’s first half performance, but admitted he had a lot to work on: “We started the game really well, that’s how I want to play football.
“But we need to work on the transitions, we dominated and they break us too easily. In the beginning I saw a lot of things we worked on in training, but we need to score goals and take the lead. I want this club to do well, it is only winning that counts. I wanted to win the games so I am disappointed but I have also seen some positive things.”