Dimitar Berbatov has suggested that Emerson Royal’s red card against Arsenal may have been harsh but felt the Brazilian made a stupid challenge.

The home side immediately took the game to Antonio Conte’s side, who found it difficult to get a foothold in the game early on with Arsenal pinning them on the back foot.

The former Spurs forward could not understand why Spurs decided to play with ten men behind the ball and need to use more intelligence when playing such matches in the future.

Trailing 2-1 in the second half, Royal made a rash challenge on Gabriel Martinelli near the touchline which saw referee Anthony Taylor reach straight for a red card without any need for VAR input.

The Bulgarian believes that the right wing-back was asking for trouble to make such a challenge which effectively ended Tottenham’s hopes of getting a result from the derby.

He told Optus Sport: “You don’t need to get into the emotion; the sending off maybe was a bit harsh, but it was because Emerson was getting annoyed because they didn’t touch the ball. They were just running behind the ball. After that, you want to kick someone. You need to be clever.

“… Sometimes if you’re not smart enough like in this case you are going to do the stupid thing. For me, that is a stupid challenge, honestly. It is not calculated. The ball is far away. He is just begging for a card. Was it a harsh red card? Maybe.

“I’ve been there, we’ve all been there. You’re running behind the ball, especially if you’re a striker and you think you’re good enough that you don’t want to do that.

“At one point, you’re going to snap.”

SpursWeb Opinion

It was a foolish decision by Royal with Martinelli posing no threat at all given the position he was in when in possession of the ball.

The sending-off proved to be a crucial moment in the game as the Gunners cemented their lead with another goal soon after, hopefully Conte now gives Spence and Doherty the chance to start against Frankfurt on Tuesday.

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