Crystal Palace boss gives his verdict on potential Francis Coquelin dismissal

Crystal Palace Selhurst Park

Arsenal’s Francis Coquelin escaped a red card during his side’s 2-1 win over Crystal Palace.

Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew says Arsenal midfielder Francis Coquelin should have been sent off during the second half after a succession of fouls, the BBC report.

The Gunners travelled to South London under pressure to perform and for large parts their performance showed that, with plenty of indecision and hesitation on show among their quality.

Olivier Giroud opened the scoring before Joel Ward equalised, yet the biggest talking point of the first-half was whether Coquelin should have seen red for a rash tackle when already on a booking.

The French star escaped on that occasion, yet referee Lee Mason’s decision not to dismiss the former Charlton Athletic loan star following yet another foul in the second period riled Palace boss Pardew.

“The game changed on two incidents. We hit the post at 1-1 and you have to argue they are lucky to have 11 players. Everyone knew in the stadium he should have gone,” Pardew explained.

"I said to Lee Mason 'listen. That tackle before half time is not a sending off at that point but that's his last chance, you know that'.”

"He then makes the foul and he (should be) off at that point. Arsene Wenger knew that and took him off. It's a decision Lee Mason needs to be braver on."

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During his time on the pitch, Coquelin made four fouls but it was his final foul – roughly ten minutes after Arsenal’s second goal – which proved a big talking point.

Had the 24-year-old been dismissed, the Eagles would have had an extra man for the final 30 minutes of the match to ramp up the pressure and seek an equaliser.

Instead, boss Arsene Wenger withdrew his defensive midfielder minutes after the incident as the visitors shored up their backline and held out for a morale-boosting victory.

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