Pogba lucky to es­cape red for reck­less lunge on Alli

The Daily Telegraph - Sport - - Total Football - KEITH HACK­ETT REF­EREE’S VIEW Keith Hack­ett is a for­mer ref­eree, and his ebook, You are the Ref, is out now

Mike Dean went into this match with a rep­u­ta­tion for be­ing card happy, hav­ing is­sued nine red cards and 64 yel­lows in his 16 pre­vi­ous matches. This time, he was too cau­tious. The tally should be 10 red cards fol­low­ing the shock­ing chal­lenge by Manch­ester United mid­fielder Paul Pogba on his Tot­ten­ham coun­ter­part, Dele Alli.

Pogba’s studs went into the back of Alli’s knee. It was clearly a reck­less chal­lenge. The laws de­mand a red card if a chal­lenge en­dan­gers the safety of an op­po­nent. Pogba’s cer­tainly falls into this cat­e­gory, and for Sky pun­dit Jamie Red­knapp to ar­gue that the con­tact was ac­ci­den­tal is stretch­ing credulity.

Dean had a clear view of the

in­ci­dent and has made a mis­take by show­ing only a yel­low card. That means that no fur­ther ac­tion can be taken against the United player.

This is the stu­pid­ity of the cur­rent sys­tem. If foot­ball wants to pro­tect em­ploy­ees it has to have a mech­a­nism whereby the card or pun­ish­ment can be up­graded. Yet again, we are left be­moan­ing the ab­sence of the video as­sis­tant ref­eree (VAR) in this cir­cum­stance. Its in­tro­duc­tion in the Premier League can­not come soon enough.

X-rated: Paul Pogba launches his tackle on Dele Alli

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