Looking back at the weekend’s action in the Premier League, former referee Dermot Gallagher has claimed Arsenal’s Eddie Nketiah got lucky not to be sent off in the North London derby after a reckless challenge on Tottenham’s Guglielmo Vicario.

A highly entertaining North London derby was played out at the Emirates Stadium yesterday afternoon, with both sides taking a share of the spoils in a 2-2 draw.

A Cristian Romero own goal gave the home side the lead before Heung-min Son stuck away an equaliser late in the first half.

A contentious penalty was then awarded to Arsenal in the second half, to be converted by Bukayo Saka, but Son pulled Spurs level a little over a minute later.

Plenty of goalmouth action was to be had in the feisty affair, and there were plenty of bookings handed out, too.

Spurs had yellow cards brandished at Romero, Destiny Udogie, Pape Matar Sarr, and Yves Bissouma, while the Gunners picked up cautions for Martin Odegaard, Kai Havertz, and Eddie Nketiah.

BRENTFORD, ENGLAND – AUGUST 13: Guglielmo Vicario of Tottenham Hotspur gives the team instructions during the Premier League match between Brentford FC and Tottenham Hotspur at Gtech Community Stadium on August 13, 2023 in Brentford, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Nketiah could have seen red against Tottenham

Nketiah lunged into a challenge on Spurs goalkeeper, Guglielmo Vicario and, if he had mistimed it any more than he already did, could have seriously hurt the Italian stopper. Speaking to Sky Sports (via Football Daily) on the matter, Dermot Gallagher had this to say.

“Why would you make a challenge like that? I don’t think he can win the ball, that’s the thing. If he got a red card there, I don’t think he can argue. He’s been really, really lucky. He doesn’t have to make that challenge, and luckily he hasn’t caught [Vicario] full-on.

“If you see, he actually just misses his leg. If he had took his leg, [Nketiah would] be in big, big trouble, as would the goalkeeper… it was referred to VAR and they decided the referee made the right call.”

Spurs Web Opinion

I cannot believe this was only a yellow card. It shouldn’t matter whether his intention was to win the ball or whether he made contact with Vicario enough to hurt him, the fact is Nketiah has dived into a big challenge and has no control. As a result he has seriously endangered another player and has to be shown a red.

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