The France international was sent off in the 53rd minute for headbutting Nedum Onuoha but the Gunners were able to hold on to a 2-1 lead to see off QPR at the Emirates Stadium
Arsene Wenger believes Olivier Giroud left Arsenal with “a mountain to climb” after the striker was sent off during the club’s 2-1 win over QPR on Boxing Day.
The Gunners took a first-half lead through Alexis Sanchez but were reduced to 10 men in the 53rd minute after Giroud was dismissed for headbutting QPR defender Nedum Onuoha.
Tomas Rosicky’s first goal of the season doubled Arsenal’s lead but QPR set up a tense finish at the Emirates Stadium.
Charlie Austin scored a penalty with 11 minutes remaining and Wenger acknowledged that Giroud’s red card quickly made life difficult for his side.
“The red card was deserved. Giroud didn’t control himself. That’s of course a straight red,” Wenger told BT Sport.
“Of course it completely changed the dynamic. We were completely in control of the game. Not in trouble then suddenly we were down to ten men. From quite comfortable suddenly it became a mountain to climb.
“Olivier is a guy who, when he makes a mistake, he stands up for it. He knows he made a big mistake today.”