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The Ghanaian midfielder was rushed back to club duty after his country exited the Africa Cup of Nations at the group stage on Tuesday night, and was a surprise name on the Arsenal bench for their crucial last four clash less than 48 hours later.

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Thomas Partey was substituted on for the Emirates Stadium leg with 15 minutes to go but picked up two yellow cards in three minutes to earn an early bath, as Arsenal went down 2-0 in the second leg and on aggregate thanks to Diogo Jota’s brace.

The 28-year-old defended his moment of madness to Arsenal fans on Instagram, claiming that his tough tackling nature is his ‘personality’ – but vowed to work hard to make amends.

Thomas Partey

His Instagram story post read: ‘(I) am responsible for anything that happened and will take all the critiques, I should be more intelligent not to get in a challenge already booked but this is my personality. I like to fight for every ball.

‘I love this club and I love my country even though things sometimes don’t happen how I wanted, I would continue to work harder to make things right.

‘I came back (from AFCON duty) with the mentality to make myself available for the team to get to the (Carabao Cup) final but it did not happen as planned.

Arsenal Focus On The Next Fixture With Burnley

‘I will continue to give my all when I am on the field of play because this is my life and this is what I chose to do.

‘(I) am not happy with all that happened yesterday and at the AFCON but I understand only with hard work things will change so I will continue to work hard to change this.’

Defeat in the Carabao Cup semi-final means the Gunners blew their last realistic chance of picking up silverware this season, as Liverpool marched onto the February 27 final against Chelsea.

Partey’s red card will suspend him for Arsenal’s next Premier League match at home to bottom club Burnley on Sunday, with the Gunners already light in midfield.


The Ghanaian international joins Granit Xhaka on the suspended list after the Swiss midfielder picked up a red card in the Carabao Cup first-leg against Liverpool, while Mohamed Elneny is at AFCON with Egypt and Ainsley Maitland-Niles joined Roma on loan last week.

Belgian midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga and Martin Odegaard are likely to start Sunday’s visit to Burnley alongside Emile Smith Rowe while the Gunners have been linked with a loan move for Juventus’ Arthur Melo.

Thomas Partey’s red card on Thursday night is also the 14th sending-off Arsenal has received since Mikel Arteta took over at the club in December 2019 – a figure higher than any other top-flight club in that time.


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