Arsenal’s unbeaten run in the Premier League came to frustrating end against Wolves tonight. The Gunners dominated the game in the first half and on another day, we could’ve well been 4-0 up.
Nicolas Pepe’s brilliant goal put us ahead and that looked enough for a lead at the break as the half came to an end. Sadly, an unfortunate incident saw Wolves get a penalty and David Luiz was shown the red card.
The Arsenal man was chasing Willian Jose’s run into the box and the Wolves striker went to ground. Replays suggested that there was the smallest of contacts and it was very evident that Luiz did not intend to touch him.
The referee didn’t waste any time and Luiz was given his marching orders. That caused serious uproar on social media among Arsenal supporters who felt that the decision was a joke.
However, former Premier League referee Peter Walton has labelled Luiz’s actions as ‘careless’ and remained adamant that a red card was the right decision.
Walton: Luiz was careless
He said on BT Sport, as per The Daily Star: “Intent doesn’t come into the law because you can’t read what’s in a player’s mind. So you go by his actions and his actions there were rather careless. In terms of bringing the player down, he doesn’t make an attempt on the ball – that’s the important thing.
“Had he made an attempt on the ball, it would’ve been a yellow card plus a penalty kick. But because he hasn’t made an attempt on the ball and the ball is not within playing distance, that becomes a red card. Craig Pawson has got no opportunity at all to issue a yellow – it has to be a red card and a penalty kick.”
Arsenal Insider’s view:
The contact between the two players was extremely minimal and not one person can claim that Luiz initiated it. A penalty on it’s own is harsh, but understandable, but a red card is simply absurd.
By Walton’s own admission, if Luiz went through Jose’s back and got a slight touch on the ball after hacking the Wolves man down, it would’ve been a yellow card. That makes absolutely zero sense, and the rules need rewriting.
Referees need to start putting things into perspective before making a decision. A penalty would’ve been enough punishment, but a red card was shown and that ruined what could’ve been a fantastic game of football.