Howard Webb speaks out on Mateo Kovacic red card decision

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Howard Webb has admitted that Mateo Kovacic was lucky not to have been sent off against Arsenal on Sunday.

The Gunners finally managed to break their Manchester City curse over the weekend, beating the current champions in the Premier League for the first time since 2015.

A deflected Gabriel Martinelli shot sealed the win in the 86th minute but had the Gunners not walked away with all three points fans would’ve been furious with referee, Micheal Oliver.

Manchester City midfielder, Kovacic, was lucky to only receive a yellow card for his studs-up challenge on Martin Odegaard in the the 29th minute.

Mateo Kovacic challenge on Martin Odegaard

Fans were then left in disbelief when he escaped a second booking for a very late challenge on Declan Rice just minutes later.

Speaking on the “Refs Mic’d up”, PGMOL chief Webb admitted he was lucky not to be sent off.

“I do [believe he was lucky not to be sent off]. Second yellows are something that the VAR is not able to get involved in. But he was an extremely fortunate player to stay on the field of play.” he said via Football.London.

“Of course, the referee is one of the best in the world, Michael [Oliver] will no doubt review that and he doesn’t want to have a negative impact on the game by overreacting to something, and sometimes players will be on a yellow card and there will be pressure to show a second one.

“Pressure will come from players on the field, but you know that’s also true that if you underreact you have a negative impact on the game. When he reflects, he’ll realise the second one should’ve been a yellow, which would have seen Kovacic sent off for two yellow cards.”

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1 Comment

  1. Both of Kovacic’s fouls in my opinion were red card offences. In both cases his tackle was late, in both cases it was uncontrolled in that he leapt into the tackle with both feet in the air, in both cases he landed on his opponent’s leg, endangering his safety.

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