Arsenal midfielder Guendouzi escapes punishment despite grabbing Brighton's Maupay by the throat

Goal.com

Arsenal midfielder Matteo Guendouzi has escaped punishment from the FA despite being caught on camera grabbing Brighton's Neal Maupay by the throat.

The Gunners succumbed to a surprise defeat at the hands of Brighton at the Amex Stadium on Saturday afternoon, with Lewis Dunk and Maupay finding the net to complete a stunning turnaround for the hosts after Nicolas Pepe's second-half opener.

Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno was forced to leave the pitch on a stretcher after a collision with Maupay earlier in the contest, which provoked a strong reaction from Guendouzi.

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The Frenchman appeared to accost the Seagulls striker after he had tried to apologise to Leno, but the incident was not picked up by match official Martin Atkinson.

The two men clashed again after the final whistle, with Guendouzi clearly seen grabbing Maupay by the neck in replay footage as frustrations boiled over.

However, Atkinson failed to pick up on the clash once again and a VAR review decided that no further action was required against the Gunners playmaker.

The FA have released an official statement confirming that Guendouzi will not be reprimanded for his actions, which asserts that the referee took all the necessary steps to deal with the situation on the pitch.

The statement reads: “Matteo Guendouzi’s conduct during this incident was not seen by the match officials at the time, but it was subsequently reviewed by the VAR, so he will face no further action.”

Mikel Arteta will still be able to call upon Guendouzi when his side take in a trip to St Mary's to face Southampton on Thursday.

Arsenal are now in real danger of missing out on European football next season, having endured a nightmare return to action following the three-month hiatus caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Manchester City thrashed the Gunners 3-0 at Etihad Stadium three days before they were humbled by Brighton, bringing Arteta's honeymoon period at the helm to a definitive close.

Arsenal are now sitting tenth in the Premier League standings with only eight fixtures remaining, 11 points behind fourth-placed Chelsea and four behind Sheffield United - who currently occupy the final Europa League spot.

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