Ex-ref slams “poor challenge” on Phil Foden, says Atletico Madrid will sense “weak referee” for rest of the game

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Former Premier League referee Mark Halsey has criticised the challenge on Manchester City star Phil Foden early on in the game against Atletico Madrid.

The England international received a knock to the head from Atletico defender Felipe, and Halsey insists it was reckless and deserved a yellow card.

“Foden goes up for an aerial challenge, wins the ball and Felipe comes through the back of him, with no chance of winning the ball. He knows exactly what he’s doing – it’s a poor challenge and for me the German referee Daniel Siebert should’ve cautioned the player,” Halsey told CaughtOffside.

“That was an ideal opportunity for the referee to stamp his authority on the game because if you don’t do that in the early stages with a challenge like that, they’ll see him as a weak referee.

“For me that’s a clear yellow card, it was reckless from Felipe, with no chance of winning the ball.”

Diego Simeone’s side are known for their aggressive style, and this is a perfect example of it, but no one wants to see it genuinely endanger a player.

Foden thankfully seems fine to play on, albeit with a bandage on his head, but referees surely need to do more to punish players when a head injury is involved.

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