Manchester City have received a huge blow as influential midfielder Rodri has been sent off in their Premier League showdown with Nottingham Forest.
The Spaniard is regarded by many as one of the best players in world football — and for obvious reasons — but the superstar let his temperament get the better of him in Saturday's game and was caught choking Morgan Gibbs-White during a heated clash.
Guardiola's men cruised to an early 2-0 lead against the visitors, with Rodri playing a key role in the opener, but the midfielder was given his marching orders after being shown a straight red card by Anthony Taylor. Check out the incident in the clip below (video is geo-restricted).
Rodri sees red!
Rodri was given a red card for this altercation with Gibbs-White. pic.twitter.com/fri41oDzak— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) September 23, 2023
This moment of madness from Rodri has caused his team two issues. Firstly, the Cityzens were reduced to 10 men, forcing Pep to make changes, bringing on defenders to see out the result, in a game where his team were coasting to a victory. However, the more concerning issue is the games Rodri will miss.
A straight red card is an automatic three-game ban and a three-game ban would see the 27-year-old miss crucial fixtures. This includes their Carabao Cup trip to Newcastle this Wednesday and their clash with Wolves on the final day of September. The final game of this suspension, however, is the most important as that will be the trip to Arsenal on October 8.
The Gunners are seen as Manchester City's only worthy contender in the title race this season, making the trip to the Emirates Stadium crucial. However, Pep will be without two sensational midfielders — the other is the injured Kevin de Bruyne — and to no one's surprise, this sparked celebrations among Arsenal fans on X (formerly known as Twitter).
Rodri's red card should see him banned for three games, the last of which will be the game against Arsenal at the Emirates.— Orbinho (@Orbinho) September 23, 2023
Rodri out for their visit to the emirates??? pic.twitter.com/124Tccv37e— YankeeGunner (@YankeeGunner) September 23, 2023
Rodri saw that he had to be up against Declan Rice next week and decided to duck the test— Sash ~ (@ltarsenal) September 23, 2023
Rodri's red card means he will miss the Premier League game against Arsenal on October 8th.— gunnerblog (@gunnerblog) September 23, 2023
Rodri purposely ducked the Rice test pic.twitter.com/pfHbQCgrdh— Arsenal Presser. (@APresserV2) September 23, 2023
No Rodri for City at the Emirates pic.twitter.com/kMHSRkxKOk— Santi™ (@ThePeakSanti) September 23, 2023
Straight red means Rodri will miss the trip to the Emirates. pic.twitter.com/MseSvt6INg— Arsenal Presser. (@APresserV2) September 23, 2023
RODRI RED CARD MEANS HE'S OUT FOR THE ARSENAL GAME— James. (@afcjxmes) September 23, 2023
The Premier League holders boast an outstanding record against the Gunners in the league, having last lost a top-flight game against the North London giants roughly eight years ago. Furthermore, Guardiola has beaten his former assistant Mikel Arteta in every league encounter so far but will be in for a headache given Rodri's suspension.
The Cityzens managed to see out the game against Nottingham Forest, beating Steve Cooper's side 2-0. This extends their perfect start to the season, having won all six fixtures so far. Arsenal, on the other hand, have drawn once and will face a tricky test at home to Tottenham this Sunday. Fans in the USA can catch the North London derby live exclusively on Peacock. Click here for more global listings.