Arsenal and Norway midfielder Martin Odegaard has admitted he does not want to give his true feelings on Rodri’s nasty tackle during his country’s Euro 2024 defeat to Spain for fear of getting banned.
Norway ended up losing 3-0 but were far better than that scoreline would suggest and nearly equalised in the first half when Odegaard saw a shot on goal well blocked by Nacho Fernandez.
While Nacho was blocking the shot, Odegaard was caught by a late challenge from Rodri, leaving him slumped on the ground as the referee waved away claims for a penalty or any further punishment.
Many Arsenal fans were quick to call out Rodri’s actions, accusing the Manchester City midfielder of trying to sabotage the Gunners’ Premier League title charge. While Odegaard wasn’t as accusatory, he did confess that it was an ugly challenge.
“I’m pretty sure I should have had a penalty. He’s coming with his studs right on my ankle,” he told TV2.
“But I’m sure I’ll get punished [if I say anymore]. I don’t bother saying anything else about the referee. It’s better not to say anything.”
Fortunately for both Odegaard and Arsenal, he managed to shake off the crunching challenge and play the full 90 minutes, suggesting he did not suffer any lasting damage.
Arsenal will hope Odegaard is ready to start when they return to domestic action with a visit from Leeds in the Premier League on Saturday, but before that, they will have to watch Norway take on Georgia in a Euro 2024 qualifier on Tuesday.
The Gunners lost both William Saliba and Takehiro Tomiyasu to injuries shortly before the international break, with the latter suffering a knee injury which has brought an abrupt end to his season.
On this edition of The Chronicles of a Gooner, part of the 90min podcast network, Harry Symeou discusses the games which could decide Arsenal’s Premier League title fate.
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