Emerson Royal has been criticised for a moment of madness which saw him receive a straight red card in Tottenham’s defeat to Arsenal on Saturday.
The Tottenham defender was shown his marching orders by referee Anthony Taylor for a “poor” challenge on Gabriel Martinelli in the second half when the score was 2-1 to Mikel Arteta’s side.
The visitors’ misery was compounded just five minutes later when Granit Xhaka scored Arsenal’s third to put the game out of reach, with BT Sport pundit Peter Crouch describing the red card as a "huge factor" in the final result.
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Tottenham boss Antonio Conte was understandably furious. "With the red card, [went] the game," he said in his post-match interview.
"It was a really difficult game after that. We had to change totally then. It was the referee’s decision and I don’t want to comment."
Darren Fletcher, on BT Sport commentary, described it as a "crazy challenge to make in the circumstances".
Martin Keown agreed: "This is a stamping motion. His left foot comes right down the shin and onto his foot. Looks really poor and I don’t think the referee has much choice but to send him off.”
Jermaine Jenas said he didn’t “know what he was thinking”, adding: “You’ve got Martinelli running back towards his own byline and you’ve gone in with your studs, down the side of his ankle, his Achilles.
“It’s high, it’s dangerous. It’s a red card in today’s game. It’s a shocking, ridiculous decision.
“It was a concern for me at the start of the game; when the line-ups went up, I saw Martinelli up against Emerson Royal, it struck fear into me if I’m honest. I knew Martinelli would get the better of that.
“All I can think of is that it’s some pent-up frustration from Emerson Royal because there’s no other reason why you would do that unless in your mind, you’re thinking: ‘He’s been taking the mick out of me all day’.”
Keown added: “He’s just got fed up running after him. He’s trying to have a little nibble but he’s overdone it.”
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