Former PL referee claims Palace were ‘extremely lucky’ not to be red carded

Mark Halsey has claimed that Crystal Palace should consider themselves lucky to have completed the 90 minutes against Arsenal with 11 men.

The two sides played out a 2-2 draw last night in what was a physical battle of wills, one which the visitors were lucky to survive through without punishment from the referee.

Bukayo Saka picked up a yellow card shortly before the end of the first-half for a trip on James Macarthur, and their midfielder took his revenge moments later when kicking out at the England international on the edge of the box, but the official only reprimanded him with a yellow.

former Premier League ref Halsey insists that Palace’s player was ‘extremely lucky’ not to have been sent off.

“James McArthur was extremely lucky not to receive a red card for a wild kick on Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka,” Halsey said.

“The Crystal Palace midfielder was late on the challenge, had no chance of winning the ball and booted Saka in his right calf at the end of the first half.

“Mike Dean showed McArthur a yellow card but I felt it was an act of violent conduct and further punishment could have been dished out to the Scotsman. As a result, Saka was forced off at half-time and later had an ice pack on his leg.

“McArthur was also fortunate not to be cautioned earlier in the half for denying Emile Smith Rowe a promising attack at the Emirates.

“Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal and Saka could have felt aggrieved as Dean showed inconsistency by later producing a yellow card to the wide-man for the same offence on Jordan Ayew.”

Had Macarthur have been sent off, I can’t see how Palace would have been able to come back from the 1-0 deficit in the second-half, and the game would no doubt have played out very differently, but while we can feel a little aggrieved the decision didn’t go as expected, our performance is what we should be focused on.


Tags Crystal Palace Mark Halsey


  1. Dean was disgusting last night ! He was so anti Arsenal it was a total joke. How Dean can be allowed to carry on as he did last night just goes to show refs are biased. Dean has the VAR watching the game but not once did they ask him to go and look at the incident or over rule him on a clear violent conduct fromMc Arthur. Everyone could see it was a straight red but again Dean is allowed to do what he so likes ! VAR are suppose to be there to keep the game fair well it showed us all last night its biased !! the FA are guilty of allowing these refs to be in the game !! VAR is a joke !! but if it was an Arsenal layer that kicked through a palace player like Mc Arthur did they would have seen straight red !! DEAN is a joke biased anti arsenal

  2. Had no bearing on the game.
    It was a feisty lashing out rather than cynical.
    This actually is a lucky break for Arsenal because now Arteta can rest Saka.
    However ESR Odegaard Tierney Tomiyasu Gabriel and White all look jaded.
    Is it time to show faith in Chambers Cedric Holding Mari Tavarez Martinelli Niles Lokonga Lacazette Nketiah?
    Or are they only Carabao/FA Cup standard ?
    Are we a 14 man team now?

    1. No way are you an Arsenal fan ,every post you look for a reaction with the utter garbage you spew out .
      Just read what you have posted, now put yourself in another Arsenal fans shoes and tell me what they are thinking ,exactly what I have just posted above that’s what .
      How you can say that it’s a lucky break to lose probably our best player is a joke and the rest of your post wasn’t much better .

      1. I think he is a spud Dan, people need to stop giving him their time he is just taking the perverbial wee and not very well either.

  3. I did think at the time it was a 100% red card but as is often the case, an incident goes unpunished that is baffling. I thought and think Dean is a joke but he did inexplicably allow Arsenal time added on on time added on to score.

  4. Arsenal fans on the ground should show their displeasure at deano from now on. Whenever he is refereeing we should whistle at every of his stupid decision, that way he knows he can’t get away with his criminal actions.

  5. I agree with Carl, at the least VAR should have instructed Dean to go pitchside and review the incident again, although I wouldn’t even call it violent conduct, it was sheer thuggery, the ball was nowhere near where Macarthur aimed his kick. You could see his intention from where he was looking. AW wants referees to do a post match press conference, (can’t see that happening), but I ask why referees and linesmen can’t go into a room after the game, or next morning and do a video conference with VAR officials and feedback from managers, and watch a rerun of any contentious decisions and have retrospective action taken if VAR, or the ref, think they made a mistake (some Hope). VAR officials are incompetent and VAR is not fit for purpose. I think the world and his dog would agree that the ref got it wrong. If an Arsenal player kicked an opponent like that I would be ashamed.

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