Former Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg is of the opinion that Michael Oliver should have shown a red card to Matteo Kovacic during the first half of Arsenal’s 1-0 victory against Manchester City.
Kovacic was involved in at least two reckless challenges, both of which, in Clattenburg’s view, warranted straight red cards. However, he received a yellow card for one of them and escaped without a booking for the other.
Fortunately for Oliver, Arsenal emerged as the winner of the game, and Clattenburg believes that this outcome spared him from becoming the centre of attention during the international break.
The performance of Premier League referees and the use of VAR have faced increased scrutiny in recent weeks due to a series of high-profile mistakes, which has raised concerns and sparked discussions about officiating standards in the league.
Oliver has escaped being the latest ref to make controversial decisions and Clattenburg writes in the Daily Mail:
“Mateo Kovacic is a very lucky boy and so is referee Michael Oliver, given Arsenal went on to win regardless of Manchester City keeping all 11 men on the pitch.
“Kovacic could have been dismissed not once, but twice. His first yellow could have been upgraded to red if VAR John Brooks had told Oliver to take a second look at his nasty tackle from behind on Martin Odegaard.
“But when Kovacic then caught Declan Rice late on the ankle, the City midfielder could easily have been shown a second yellow.”
Adding: “But Oliver would have been getting some grief over this international break if it hadn’t been for Gabriel Martinelli’s late goal.”
Just Arsenal Opinion
We have to learn to win games despite mistakes from referees because they have shown that they are prone to these mistakes in recent matches.
The win against City will hand us a significant mental boost ahead of the remaining games of the term and we expect an excellent end to the campaign.
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