Koscielny red card right, Kompany dismissal wrong

Arsenal v Manchester City featured two red cards and two big talking points. Let us know what you think.

Here is a look at referee Mike Dean's big two sending off decisions at the Emirates yesterday:

Laurent Koscielny sent off for Arsenal

Arsenal fans, forced to watch their side play out 80 minutes with 10 men were left cursing Mike Dean for 'ruining the game' - But Koscielny left him with little option but to brandish a red card.

He wrestled Edin Dzeko to the ground in the penalty area when he was presented with a goalscoring opportunity, and while a goal was no given, he was denied the chance thanks to the defender's foul.

It was a needless infringement, and all this penalty box pushing and shoving is something fans have long wanted clamping down on, and yesterday it actually was. 

Normally the foul would just have been worthy of a yellow card, had it taken place anywhere on the pitch. But because it was on the edge of the six yard box, and Dzeko had a relatively simple chance to put the ball in the net, the red came out.

Those wishing for Mike Dean not to ruin the spectacle, have to realise that such a consideration should have no place for a referee early in the match - instead just look at the situation alone; it certainly didn't when Emmanuel Adebayor was sent off similarly early for Tottenham at the same ground in the opening exchanges in November.

Were Arsenal punished twice with a sending off and a penalty? Well yes and that is harsh, but Dean was only applying the laws of the game. Dean is not a referee known for his leniency and Koscielny by committing such a foul unwittingly asked for his punishment.

Verdict: Right decision

Vincent Kompany sent off for Manchester City

Vincent Kompany has already had his say on his red card and intends to appeal the decision. He will probably get nowhere with the FA, but he was harshly treated.

The defender claimed on Twitter after the game that Jack Wilshere overran the ball, and while the Arsenal midfielder was in possession, there was certainly a ball to be won.

Kompany went in forcefully, he always does that is the type of uncompromising defender he is, but he got the ball and led with one foot. The referee judged the force of the tackle to be worth the red card, with the centre-back left fuming.

Kompany was going in legitimately trying to win the ball, even if he lacked an element of finesse in doing so. Did he need to lunge in with his side 2-0 up?

It is deja vu for the defender, sent off for a tackle on Wayne Rooney in an almost identical situation in the FA Cup last January. He has failed to learn the position he puts himself in, or at least must be prepared to accept the risk he runs.

In our view the tackle, crunching as it was, was not deserving of a red card, but is certainly possible to see how Mike Dean reached his decision. It remains a judgement call for the official and seen in real time it likely appeared and sounded far worse than it was.

The centre-back was unlucky, but it was a matter of interpretation, a grey area, and it won't be the last time this type of tackle is debated in similar circumstances.

Verdict: Wrong decision

That's our view - Let us know what you think of the red cards...

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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