The FA have charged Arsenal for the second time in a week for failing to control their players ‘in an orderly fashion’, this time in the third round FA Cup tie against Oxford United.
The Gunners, who currently sit top of the Premier League, were charged for the same thing against Newcastle during the 0-0 draw at the Emirates, in which referee Andy Madley brandished eight yellow cards in a feisty encounter between pair in the Premier League.
And, following an incident in the first half of their now controversial clash against Oxford, in which Mikel Arteta’s side were appealing for a handball, the FA have once more charged the north London outfit.
“It is alleged that Arsenal FC failed to ensure its players conducted themselves in an orderly fashion during the 34th minute, and the club has until Monday 16th January to respond”, an official spokesperson for the FA wrote.
It further raises the profile of an already controversial game, with Oxford United defender Ciaron Brown reportedly the centre of a spot-betting scandal after picking up a yellow card in the second half.
With the scores still locked at 0-0, a shot from Albert Sambi-Lokonga ricocheted off an Oxford United defender and out for a corner. The Belgian felt as though the ball had been deflected behind via a hand, and was one of four Arsenal players to make the point to the referee.
Kieran Tierney, Gabriel and Mohamed Elneny also surrounded the referee to argue the incident, while VAR was not available due to the game being played at Oxford’s stadium rather than the Emirates. Later replays showed that the Arsenal players had a case.
The Premier League leaders eventually ran out 3-0 winners over Oxford, courtesy of a goal from Elneny and a brace from Eddie Nketiah, and will face a trip to Manchester to take on second-placed Manchester City in the fourth round of the competition at the end of the month.