ARSENAL supporters have found a positive in Sokratis Papastathopoulos’ sending off in the Europa League against Rennes on Thursday.
The Greece international received two yellow cards in the first half of the club’s last-16 encounter against the Ligue 1 club.
After a clumsy tackle which earned him the first yellow early in the first half, the referee sent him off for bringing down Ismaila Sarr on the edge of the box just before half-time.
The subsequent free-kick taken by Hatem Ben Arfa was blocked by the wall, but Benjamin Bourigeaud latched on to the immediate rebound and delivered a brilliant strike to level the score.
With the finger being pointed at Papastathopoulos for conceding, fans are now finding solace in the fact he will be ready for the weekend’s Premier League game.
Supporters are pleased the 30-year-old will get some extra rest ahead of Sunday’s clash against Manchester United where he will face an in-form Romelu Lukaku.
“Sokratis just wanted to get some rest in preparation for the United game,” one fan wrote on social media.
“Sokratis gets his rest in for Man Utd,” another tweeted. “I don’t mind us making this match a bit more difficult. Was getting a bit bored tbh.”
Another Arsenal fan is glad he’s off the pitch and getting an early bath, writing: “Sokratis can now rest fully for @ManUtd.”
“Sokratis sees the form Lukaku’s in so he’s gotten sent off early to be fully rested for the battle on Sunday,” wrote a fourth.
However, not everyone saw the positive side of the incident, with some fans in complete shock.
“That Sokratis redcard deserved..how could he be so stupid,” they wrote.
“Sokratis the ticking time bomb just exploded.
“Standard Sokratis – both yellows – he’s clearly not good enough.”
Unai Emery’s side host the Red Devils on Sunday in a must-win game with both sides in contention for a top-four spot.