Ex ref: Sagna tackle no red card but Arsenal should have had penalty!

Dermot Gallagher believes Gunners right back was guilty of a reckless challenge during Tottenham Hotspur win and Koscielny should have had a penalty.

The heated rivalry between North London neighbours Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur could have simmered over into boiling point on Sunday, March 16 as the 90 minutes saw a combined 29 fouls require eight bookings given with one in particular - a strong Bacary Sagna challenge on Danny Rose - sending the Lilywhite White Hart Lane support into a near frenzy, as the Frenchman seemingly escaped with just a yellow card.

Sagna infuriated manager Tim Sherwood late on in the game, also, as the Englishman may have believed the right back to be guilty of time-wasting when walking slowly toward the touchline as he readied himself to take a throw in.

As for the tackle on Rose, former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher sided with both the match-day referee Mike Dean and against the Spurs fans who lobbied for the player's dismissal: "He should not have been sent off," said Gallagher in the Sky Sports studio earlier today, Monday.

"Mike Dean provided a masterclass in refereeing. It looked really bad because of the way the player [Rose] goes up [in the air] but Dean took his time, did not rush and as you see, the challenge is low, one-footed and the ball is there to be won.

"It's just a reckless tackle and the referee calls it exactly right."

The margin of victory for Arsenal was slim, yet sees them close the gap on pace-setting Chelsea to four points, while the Gunners also have a game in hand over their West London title rivals, however, the win could have been greater as Gallagher explains that Jan Vertonghen was fortunate not to give away a penalty when he brought down Laurent Koscielny in the goalkeeper's area.

"It's a penalty if it's seen, I think the linesman may have been watching for offside and the [infringement] is obviously not seen. There are so many bodies to look through it's hard [for Dean] to see it and if anyone is going to see it's going to be the assistant but I don't know where he's prioritising."

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