Former Premier League referee “surprised” Chris Kavanagh needed VAR to give Ayling red card against Arsenal

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Former Premier League referee Mark Halsey has given his thoughts on the red card given to Luke Ayling in the Arsenal vs Leeds game.

Luke Ayling was sent off after VAR recommended a review for his foul on Gabriel Martinelli, where Chris Kavanagh initially gave a yellow card. Former Premier League referee Halsey believes the correct decision was eventually made but has questioned why Kavanagh failed to give a red card in the first place.

“If you look at Luke Ayling, you’ve got to say what a silly challenge and for me, it’s a red card challenge, serious foul play, endangering a player’s safety with excessive force. I’m just a little bit surprised that Chris Kavanagh’s not recognised this first off and relied on VAR to get involved,” said Halsey, speaking exclusively to CaughtOffside.

The challenge can be seen below, from Sky Sports.

The issue we have with VAR is often referee’s rely on the technology too much, and won’t make a crucial decision themselves. This then makes it difficult for the officials to sometime’s overturn their decision, due to the ‘clear and obvious error’ ruling.

Ayling was completely out of control, two-footed, and was endangering the safety of Martinelli, so there’s no reason for Kavanagh not to give the red card instantly.

“I thought Raphinha was lucky as well. He was cautioned for remonstrating with the referee and he still has to be pulled back after he’s been cautioned by the referee. I don’t think Leeds can have any complaints with the red card because it’s a clear, clear red card,” added Halsey.

Raphinha’s behaviour after the red card was silly, and he can count himself lucky to not be punished further. It’s clear to see that these Leeds players are struggling to deal with the pressure of being in a relegation fight.

As Halsey rightly said, Leeds can have no complaints about the red card, and the fans are going to be extremely disappointed in one of their senior players. Ayling will now miss three games due to serious foul play and is going to be a huge miss in their fight to stay in the Premier League.


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