Sunderland boss Paolo di Canio admits he challenged ref Martin Atkinson to send him off during defeat to Arsenal.

Di Canio admitted he approached the official because Olivier Giroud appeared to be wasting time as he hobbled off the pitch.

He said: "I was never calmer than today. But I tried to protest because we could lose two minutes at the end when their player was injured. A ball can go into the box and anything can happen.

"He said if you keep going I send you off to the stand. I said if you want to complete a perfect day, then send me off, he said now you go off to the stand.

"I am sure he is a nice man."

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