Reyes: Booking was 'ridiculous'
By Tom Adams
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Jose Antonio Reyes has slammed the yellow card that earned him a suspension.
Jose Antonio Reyes has described the yellow card he earned against Juventus, which rules him out of the first leg of the UEFA Champions League semi-final, as 'ridiculous'.
The only negative on a historic night for The Gunners in Turin was the caution handed to their Spanish forward as they comfortably achieved a 0-0 draw against the Serie A giants.
Reyes was punished by referee Herbert Fandel for time wasting as he took a corner after just 38 minutes, and as such will be unavailable when Villarreal visit Highbury on Wednesday April 19.
However, the former Sevilla man will be raring to go for the return leg in his homeland as Arsenal look to book a date for the final in Paris in May.
"The yellow card was simply ridiculous," said Reyes.
"The referee made that call and it's a blow because I was looking forward to playing against Villarreal.
"At least it will allow me to be fresh and calmer for the return leg and to help my team reach the final."
The Yellow Submarines are surprise semi-finalists after also beating an Italian side in Internazionale, and Reyes admits he was not expecting his countrymen to progress before they overpowered Roberto Mancini's Nerazzurri.
"It was surprising to see Villarreal through to the semi-final," Reyes added.
"But the truth is that in this competition the best teams progress and Villarreal were the better team just as we were against Juventus."
Arsenal are now in uncharted waters in Europe's biggest club competition, but The Gunners are not content to rest on their laurels and are determined to secure their passage to the final to face either Milan or Barcelona.
Arsene Wenger's side's progress has surprised many given their problems in the first half of the season, although Reyes believes the work ethic at Highbury means they are well placed to continue their charge.
"Our aim is to reach the Champions League final and win it," he said. "We've overcome difficult challenges and passed tests with flying colours, having beaten the likes of Real Madrid and Juventus along the way.
"We have to continue in the same line and I hope that we can keep our good form.
"There's really no secret to our success so far.
"We work hard every day, we fight for every ball and I think when you do these things, you can't go wrong."
After impressing against Real the visit to Villarreal represents another chance for Reyes to shine in his home country, and after struggling to truly adapt at Arsenal the forward has been constantly linked with a return to La Liga.
However, the 22-year-old remains a key player for Wenger, and Reyes admits he feels comfortable in England's capital at present.
"I am under contract with Arsenal and for the time being, I consider my future to be in London.
"Physically I feel great. Each day that goes by, I feel more in tune with my team-mates and that's the most important thing for me right now."