He said: "Any of you who know Martin Taylor through the years will know he is not a dirty player. It was just a case of Eduardo being too quick for him.
"His foot wasn't that high. It is on Eduardo's ankle for he was too quick for him.
"We are devastated for Eduardo and Martin is distraught - not about the sending-off but the injury to the player.
"I didn't think it was a sending-off challenge. I think he mistimed it and perhaps on another occasion you might say to Martin 'stand up and don't dive in'.
"But you see millions of tackles in the Premier League which look horrendous if you slow them down."
McLeish was delighted to pick up another point against the Gunners, and said: "I felt we could get something from the game and the players showed great spirit and commitment all over the pitch.
"We were very confident going in to half-time. The two goals they scored in the second half left us with an uphill battle but we threw caution to the wind in the last 10 minutes and got our reward."