Was McArthur's tackle on Saka worth a red card?

Was McArthur's tackle on Saka worth a red card?

Arsenal forward Bukayo Saka picked up an injury during his side's 2-2 draw with an injury following a bad tackle from James McArthur. 

McArthur kicked Saka on the back of the calf and VAR failed to intervene as the center referee reached out for a yellow card. Mikel Arteta was far from being impressed and admitted he was shocked after VAR could not intervene. 

"If we want to detect things that are really relevant in a game and can change a football match, then they have to be looked at," he said.

"That situation is not only affecting them, but we have to take the player off because of the action so it is affecting it two different ways. It is not right. You [need to] make a straight decision when it is so clear and so obvious straight away and they have to play with 10 men."

"Bukayo could not continue, we had to take him off at half-time, I saw the action and I can't believe how the player continued on the pitch. I don't get it. With what we were explained at the start of the season and what happened tonight, it doesn't make any sense."

Jamie Carragher's take

"We're all pleased with the area VAR is in this season [compared with] the last couple of seasons, and it feels like it takes an awful lot for them to say it was a clear and obvious error."

"I think Jurgen Klopp mentioned this a few weeks ago: what is clear and obvious? That's different for lots of different people - [this incident] is just an obvious error. That's clear."

"So if [VAR] feels it's a red card, and we do, Mikel Arteta does, and I don't think Palace would complain too much - it's just an error that should be overturned."

"It feels like a grey area. When you look at it, he's just taken a swipe at him and completely taken him out and taken him out of the game.

"McArthur had a couple of challenges before [the Saka foul] which could have been a yellow, but this is just so strange looking at it."

"When someone doesn't see the player, and they're going to volley the ball, and then the [other] player comes from nowhere, you can say, 'I understand what he's done there' - but this is one where he's actually right in front of him.

"If Saka comes from behind, you'd say, 'yes, it's a sore challenge', but there's no way [McArthur] can't see Saka as he's trying to volley it."

"Now, the referee had just blown his whistle, I think it was for a handball in the box. I don't know if [McArthur] thinks, 'the whistle has gone, I can get away with this one' - and he has got away with it. There's no doubt.

"I don't think Crystal Palace or McArthur could have any qualms if that was given as a red card because he's right on his eye line.

"If you see it at full speed, because things always look worse in slow motion, you see the handball, the referee just blows his whistle, and [it appears he thinks he can have] a free whack, but it's not great."

Read More: Bukayo Saka suffers injury blow in Crystal Palace draw

  • Arsenal - Next Match
  • 20, Jan - 10:45pm
Go to Event