ARSENAL are looking to have Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's three-match ban reduced after he was sent off for a dangerous challenge on Max Meyer in their Premier League clash with Crystal Palace.
Having originally been shown a yellow card for the foul that saw Meyer subbed-off with an ankle injury, VAR intervened to upgrade referee Paul Tierney’s decision to a red in the second half of Arsenal’s 1-1 draw at Selhurst Park.
The Gunners are hoping to see their star-striker's ban reduced as the three-match suspension would see Aubameyang miss fixtures against Sheffield United and Chelsea, as well as the FA Cup fourth-round tie at Bournemouth.
The Arsenal camp believe there was no excessive force used in Aubameyang's challenge and that he was making a genuine attempt to win the ball.
Arsenal intend to present other examples of similar challenges that were not awarded red cards, including some that took place on their own players, in a hope to see their captain's ban reduced.
Such examples include Liverpool’s Andy Robertson’s challenge on Tottenham’s Japhet Tanganga in the Gunners 1-0 over Spurs.
While also drawing comparison to the challenges seen on Matteo Guendouzi at Norwich City and Nicolas Pepe during the win at West Ham last month.
Discussing the tackle after the game, manager Mikel Arteta said: “I just watched it and it looked nasty, to be fair. Knowing Auba, there's no intention to make such a tackle.
“Hopefully he hasn't been injured and we are sorry for that. The decision was made and we have to accept it.”
He’s had his ankle bent almost in half, a 90-degree angle.Roy Hodgson on Aubameyang's red card tackle
Roy Hodgson on the other hand believes the right decision was made but agrees there was no malicious intent.
“I knew at the time it was a severe challenge and I’m not accusing Aubameyang of wanting deliberately to do that, but it was a bad challenge, a forward’s challenge.
“He’s had his ankle bent almost in half, a 90-degree angle.
“The only thing that surprised me is it took them so long to decide it was a red card, because I don’t think I’ve seen a challenge which was more obviously a red card than that in a long, long time.”
The absence of Aubameyang comes as a huge blow to Arteta and Arsenal as he is the team’s only consistent threat in front of goal.
Aubameyang has been firing for Arsenal, scoring 14 goals in 22 games and participating in 51 per cent of team goals.
The captain and star-striker’s ban will break his 100 per cent record of starting every game in the Gunners' 2019-2020 campaign.
Alexandre Lacazette will have to step up in the absence of the Gabon international, as he is the team's second highest scorer with just five goals this season.
However, Lacazette seems to suffering from an element of stage-fright as the Frenchman’s goal drought continues to loom over Arsenal after failing to score in their previous six games.
Since recovering from an ankle injury Lacazette has experienced a dip in confidence, meaning there could be an opportunity for 18-year-old Gabriel Martinelli to come to the helm of Arsenal’s attack.
Martinelli has showed his potential this season, performing well in the Europa League and Carabao Cup before firing home his first Premier League goal in the 3-1 victory at West Ham back in December.
Gunners defender Sokratis has highlighted the importance of character in the Arsenal squad, suggesting the absence of their captain requires others to step up: “Auba is a very important player. He’s the captain of the team, but now is the time that also the other players step up and show quality.”