Mark Clattenburg questions refereeing in Arsenal’s win

In a match that ended in victory for Arsenal against Manchester City, former referee Mark Clattenburg writes that midfielder Mateo Kovacic and referee Michael Oliver should consider themselves fortunate.

Daily Mail double page spread on how Mateo Kovacic should have been sent off.

In his column for the Daily Mail, Clattenburg suggests that Kovacic could have been shown a red card twice during the course of the game.

“Mateo Kovacic is a very lucky boy and so is referee Michael Oliver, given Arsenal went on to win regardless of Manchester City keeping all 11 men on the pitch,” Clattenburg wrote.

He indicated that Kovacic’s first yellow card for a tackle from behind on Arsenal’s Martin Odegaard could have been upgraded to a red if VAR John Brooks had advised Oliver to review the action.

Kovacic’s second incident involved a late tackle on Declan Rice, for which Clattenburg believes a second yellow card could easily have been warranted.

According to commentary on BBC MOTD2 on Sunday night, Oliver claimed that Rice’s foot had went into Kovacic as much as the other way around.

Really?

Mark Clattenburg in the Daily Mail on Kovacic vs Arsenal - Croatian could have gone not once but twice! Daily Mail9 Oct 2023By MARK CLATTENBURG MATEO KOVACIC is a very lucky boy and so is referee Michael Oliver, given Arsenal went on to win regardless of Manchester City keeping all 11 men on the pitch. Kovacic could have been dismissed not once, but twice. His first yellow could have been upgraded to red if VAR John Brooks had told Oliver to take a second look at his nasty tackle from behind on Martin Odegaard. But when Kovacic then caught Declan Rice late on the ankle, the City midfielder could easily have been shown a second yellow. Matches between the Big Six can be emotionally charged and full of hot-blooded challenges and that may have been taken into account. But Oliver would have been getting some grief over this international break if it hadn’t been for Gabriel Martinelli’s late goal.Matches between the ‘Big Six’ Premier League teams are often ’emotionally charged’ and include a range of ‘hot-blooded challenges’, noted Clattenburg.

He speculates that the nature of these high-stakes games may have been considered by the match officials when making their decisions.

However, Clattenburg suggests that Oliver would likely have faced significant scrutiny during the international break if it weren’t for Arsenal’s Gabriel Martinelli sealing the win with a late goal.

Oliver, you may remember, sent Gabriel Martinelli off for two quick-fire yellow cards in the same passage of play, a decision Mikel Arteta said at the time you had to ‘really want’ to give.

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 10: Gabriel Martinelli of Arsenal is shown a red card by referee Michael Oliver during the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Arsenal at Molineux on February 10, 2022 in Wolverhampton, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 10: Gabriel Martinelli of Arsenal is shown a red card by referee Michael Oliver during the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Arsenal at Molineux on February 10, 2022 in Wolverhampton, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

It was the same here.

Oliver had to really NOT want to give a red card to the City man, so he just didn’t.

Seems fair, right?

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