Andre Marriner has released a statement via the Professional Game Match Officials Limited to apologise for the red card he issued Kieran Gibbs with during Arsenal’s 6-0 loss to Chelsea, according to reports from The Mirror.
The experienced referee mistook the left-back for team-mate Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain with the scores at 2-0, after the attacker had deliberately blocked an Eden Hazard effort on the line with his hand.
Despite protests from the entire Arsenal team, Marriner sent Gibbs to the dressing room, allowing Oxlade-Chamberlain to play out the remainder of the game.
After the final whistle the official apologised for his error, and hinted that a number of factors were to blame for the call:
“Andre is an experienced referee and is obviously disappointed that an error of mistaken identity was made in this case,” the statement read.
“Incidents of mistaken identity are very rare and are often the result of a number of different technical factors.
“Whilst this was a difficult decision Andre is disappointed that he failed to identify the correct player.
“He expressed his disappointment to Arsenal when he was made aware of the issue.”
Hazard converted from the spot to make it 3-0, before the Blues added another three to their tally to complete a comprehensive home win.
The result was even more costly for Arsenal thanks to fellow title rivals Liverpool and Manchester City also grabbing wins.