Arsenal came from behind to beat 2-1 Birmingham City and go second in the table but the victory was tarnished by a late red card for teenager Jack Wilshere. The visitors went ahead against the run of play when striker Nikola Zigic headed home Keith Fahey’s cross. Samir Nasri levelled from the spot after a foul on Marouane Chamakh before Chamakh rounded Ben Foster to put Arsenal ahead early in the second half. Wilshere, 18, was given his marching orders for an ugly lunge on Zigic.
The England midfielder’s studs were showing as he went over the ball and took out the Serbian striker’s standing leg. And ironically, the Gunners’ third red card of the season came after boss Arsene Wenger used his programme notes to call for managers and referees to get together in an attempt to clarify the rules over bad tackles. Wilshere’s indiscretion aside, it was an efficient comeback from Arsenal who, after defeats in their previous two games and with a trip to Manchester City looming next weekend, simply could not afford to drop points. And Wenger will be delighted to have seen Chamakh continue his impressive start to life in English football with two decisive moments.What will frustrate their fans is however the fact that Arsenal can run rings around their opponents, create breath-taking chances but fail at the final kick.
Arsenal also had a goal disallowed for offside. Stephen Carr was given a yellow card for an over-the-ball tackle on Chamakh and from the resulting free-kick, Sebastien Squillaci headed the ball into the net, only to be denied for a narrow offside.