Howard Webb admits ‘extremely fortunate’ Kovacic could have been sent off twice

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    PGMOL chief Howard Webb admitted that Mateo Kovacic was ‘extremely fortunate’ and should have been sent off against Arsenal on Sunday.

    The head of Premier League referees, Webb, admitted that Kovacic should have been sent off after fouling Declan Rice whilst on a yellow card.

    The Manchester City midfielder was shown a yellow card for a heavy challenge on Martin Odegaard in the first-half. The Croat was yellow carded and following a VAR check, it was decided that a caution was punishment enough.

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    Kovacic put himself in trouble again after he made a second challenge on Rice and was not shown a second yellow card, something that Webb admits was the wrong decision and the City man should’ve been sent off.

    Speaking on the latest Mic’d Up, Webb said: "This is clearly a poor tackle and I'm pretty confident if a red card had been given by Michael Oliver on the day it would have been a very straight forward check complete. But he doesn't, he issues a yellow card."

    Do you think Mateo Kovacic should have been sent off against Arsenal? Let us know in the comments section.

    On the second challenge, Webb continued: "I do (think Kovacic is fortunate). Obviously VAR can't get involved for second yellow cards. When he (Oliver) reflects on it, he will realise the second one should have been a yellow card."

    Kovacic was soon withdrawn by Pep Guardiola and replaced by £53million signing Matheus Nunes before Gabriel Martinelli’s strike five minutes from time sealed the 1-0 win, seeing many Arsenal fans feel justice had been done.

    The spotlight had been on PGMOL after Luis Diaz infamously saw VAR make an incorrect offside call after his goal was wrongfully disallowed during Liverpool’s defeat at Tottenham Hotspur. An apology was sent to Liverpool by the refereeing body but the Kovacic red card mistake came just a week later.

    Webb was also criticised by Liverpool fans after he failed to acknowledge the controversial decision not to send Brighton & Hove Albion’s Pascal Gross off after fouling Dominik Szoboszlai in the penalty area during the Seagulls’ 2-2 draw against the Reds on Sunday.

    Mohamed Salah would convert the penalty but Gross was deemed not to have denied a clear goalscoring opportunity, seeing him escape without even being booked.

    • Premier League
    • Manchester City FC
    • Arsenal FC

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