"Annnnnnnd that's a red card."

The coolest thing to emerge from the Emirates today:

Well played. Mike Dean did the right thing, sending off Laurent Koscielny in the ninth minute for bear hugging Edin Dzeko. Cheaper penalties have been awarded this year. Aside from his flashy boots, I have no qualms with Dean’s decision. It was a goal scoring opportunity. Unfortunately Koscielny’s foolishness ruined what could have been a great fixture. The most expected to happen in North London today:

If anything Dean’s most controversial decision occurred late in the match. Vincent Kompany was sent off in the 75th minute for what initially looked like a rash two footed challenge on Jack Wilshere — City’s pinata on this day. Credit to the folks at Matchday for breaking it down after the match. Wilshere ‘showing’ the ball coupled with Kompany getting ball first seemed to vindicate the City captain. With that said, two footed challenges off the ground leave referees little choice.

As for the game, well it played out like expected after the early red. David Silva, afforded heaps of space, dominated the flanks along with Milner . Jack Wilshere, Bacary Sagna and Kieran Gibbs stood out for Arsenal. James Milner’s opening marker was made possible by lazy defending off a set piece and a class finish. Dzeko — who missed the ensuing penalty after the Koscielny blunder — made it 2-0 32 minutes in.

Arsenal was much better in the second half. The final product, however, wasn’t there. Olivier Giroud was invisible after replacing Lukas Podolski — a senseless substitution — in the second half. City remain seven behind United while Arsenal are mired in sixth. Arsene Wenger’s post game comments were on the money: “Even with 10 men we gave cheap goals away, especially the first. We are a bit nervous at home at the moment.” Arsenal will be without the services of Mikel Arteta for three weeks, putting more pressure on Wenger to spend on the transfer market.

On to the next one.

Comments (1)

  1. Just a quick note on your comments re Kompany’s red card. The definition of serious foul play in Law 12, which is a sending-off offense, allows no consideration of whether a player has won the ball. All that is required is a tackle that endangers the safety of an opponent. Referees have no discretion at all not to award a red in such circumstances.

    It’s different from violent conduct, which is engaged only when not challenging for the ball.

    (On a side note, I would consider almost any tackle where a tackling player is airborne to be endangering the safety of an opponent serious foul play. A player who is airborne cannot control or pull out of a tackle; it’s extremely dangerous. Youth coaches, remember to teach your players never to jump or leap into a feetfirst tackle.)

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