Mikel Arteta reacts to David Luiz’s performance against Manchester City

Mikel Arteta defended David Luiz (Picture: Sky Sports)

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta defended David Luiz after the defender was sent off in the Gunners’ 3-0 defeat to Manchester City.

The Brazilian started on the bench at the Etihad but he was called into action after just twenty minutes when Pablo Mari pulled up with injury.

Arsenal had made a bright start in the north-west but their good work was undone on the stroke of half-time when Luiz failed to clear a pass from Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling was on hand to smash home the opener.

Luiz’s night went from bad to worse after the break as he was sent off for pulling down Riyad Mahrez in the box, with De Bruyne on hand to convert from the spot.

Phil Foden scored late on to round off the victory but Arteta’s post-match press conference was dominated by questions about Luiz.

Arsenal's David Luiz walks off after being sent off during the Premier League match at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester. PA Photo. Issue date: Wednesday June 17, 2020. See PA story SOCCER Man City. Photo credit should read: Laurence Griffiths/PA Wire/NMC Pool. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or
David Luiz was sent off for taking down Riyad Mahrez (Picture: Getty)

But Arteta defended Luiz afterwards, insisting he remains a valuable part of the side.

‘He [Luiz] has spoken in the dressing room,’ said Arteta.

‘David is someone who is very honest and straightforward. I’m sure he will talk to you guys and explain his feelings but my opinion on David hasn’t changed.

‘The moment I joined, what he’s done for the team, what he’s done for me, it won’t change because he had a difficult performance tonight.’

The Brazilian is out of contract at the end of the season and it’s unclear whether he will stay at the Emirates.

Arteta insists tonight’s performance did nothing to alter Luiz’s future.

‘It won’t change. For me, no,’ said Arteta.

‘Whatever we’re going to do, or did before today’s game, we will keep it internally.’

MORE: David Luiz accepts blame after his nightmare performance in Arsenal’s defeat to Manchester City

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