It was a relatively comfortably 2-0 win for Arsenal on Sunday afternoon, but a refereeing decision went our way early on and the game could have been very different.
Looking to win a loose ball in midfield, Mathieu Flamini launched himself into a two-footed challenge. He won the ball, but did use ‘excessive force’ to do so. Leaving the ground and using two feet is something most referees would’ve sent him off for but, with just eight minutes on the clock, Arsenal got away with it.
Speaking to Sky after the game, Flamini said referee Kevin Friend made the right call.
“I was focused on the ball, we went together to compete and I think I took the ball, it was a good decision from the referee.
“We both went for the ball and after the contact we talked to each other. It’s the Premier League.”
The right decision? So he agreed it was a foul and a booking despite getting the ball? Oh Mathieu, you’re a lucky boy and you know it.
Moving swiftly on, the midfielder spoke about the importance of today’s result and looked ahead to next weekend’s match against Leicester City.
“Of course it was important to get back with a victory today. We played well and got the two goals in the first half and defended the two goals in the second half. A good team effort and I’m very happy for the team and the fans.
“It’s going to be another big game (against Leicester). First we have to recover after a tough game today, we have another tough game next week.”