Former PL referee hints Nuno and Lloris made mistake in Tanganga red card

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Japhet Tanganga
Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

Former Premier League referee Keith Hackett believes Tottenham coach Nuno Espirito Santo made a big mistake by not substituting Japhet Tanganga after he received his first yellow card against Crystal Palace. 

Tanganga, 22, was given his marching orders in the clash at Selhurst Park on Saturday after diving in recklessly on Eagles forward Jordan Ayew. 

It came less than five minutes after the Spurs defender was booked for a cynical block on Wilfried Zaha, which sparked an altercation between the two players on the near touchline. 

Nuno’s side were already struggling to get a foothold in the match, and Palace made their man advantage count as they handed Spurs their first defeat of the season, cruising to a 3-0 win in South London. 

The scores were actually level when Tanganga was shown the red card, and ex-referee Hackett believes this was the turning point for Spurs in the match, claiming Nuno should have acted quicker to avoid the incident occurring at all. 

Hackett told Football Insider: “On the second one, what bemuses players is that in a way, no contact was made but it’s a reckless challenge.

“The foot was high, so therefore he went to ground and fulfilled the requirement of a yellow card.

“The gap between issuing one yellow card and a second is, to some degree, immaterial.

“In John Moss, despite the criticism that I give him, he’s an experienced referee.

“What we should be saying is that the coach should really try and educate the player to calm down.

“I’ve seen situations where I think ‘What influence could the manager have had on that situation?’ Seeing the challenge on Zaha and the frustration that came from it, in hindsight, could the manager have substituted the player? Or, could the captain of the team quietened him down?

“The referee could have got into a position to try and calm down the player but he didn’t give him much opportunity.”

Spurs Web Opinion 

It was tough for Nuno, who at that point didn’t have any other centre half options to bring on for Tanganga after his yellow, with Joe Rodon coming on for Eric Dier in the first half. Inexperience showed in the end for Tanganga unfortunately, and it will be a steep learning curve for him. 

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