PIERRE-EMERICK AUBAMEYANG will miss Arsenal’s clash against Chelsea after being sent off in the 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace.
The Gunners striker was initially given a yellow for his studs-up challenge on Max Meyer.
But a referral to VAR saw the decision upgraded to a red after the Gabon international had given the Gunners the lead at Selhurst Park.
A Premier League statement on the incident said: “In the 65th minute of Crystal Palace v Arsenal, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was shown a yellow card for a challenge on Max Meyer by referee Paul Tierney.
“The VAR looked at the incident and determined that the point of contact and the intensity of the challenge endangered the safety of the opponent and recommended upgrading the yellow card to a red card for serious foul play.”
Aubameyang’s sending off means he will miss three matches, with one of them away to Chelsea on January 21.
The 30-year-old will also sit out the home clash to Sheffield United next Saturday and the FA Cup fourth-round trip to Bournemouth on January 27.
Gunners boss Mikel Arteta apologised for Aubameyang’s lunge – which has left Meyer fearing serious ankle ligament damage.
Furious Palace fans reacted in anger when they saw the foul replayed on the Selhurst Park big screen and Arteta admitted: “I’ve just watched it again and it looked nasty to be fair. We are sorry for that.
“But I know Auba had no intention to make such a tackle and hopefully Meyer is not injured.”
Palace boss Roy Hodgson said: “Max is not happy, that’s for sure and there’s no doubt it was a red card.
“I’m a bit surprised we had to wait so long for that decision to be made because it was very close to me and I knew at the time it was a very bad challenge.
“I’m not accusing Aubameyang of deliberately trying to injure the player because I’m sure he didn’t.
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“It’s the type of challenge forwards sometimes make when they’re recovering and trying to show the right degree of aggression.
“But the position of Max’s ankle is not a pleasant thing to see and I’ll be very surprised if there isn’t some ligament damage there.
“He was very upbeat after the game and convinced that he’s going to be able get over it, but we’ll have to wait until the doctors have had a look at it on Monday to find out if that’s just bravado on his part.”