In the 29th minute Stoke got awarded a penalty by referee, Lee Mason, but should it have been given?
A high elbow in the box from Granit Xhaka left Joe Allen on the floor clutching his face as if he’d been attacked by a baseball bat and Charlie Adam sending Petr Cech the wrong way to put Stoke 1-0 ahead from the penalty spot.
Although Arsenal came back to win 3-1, it’s still worth looking back at the incident. Was it actually a penalty?
While many seem to be under the impression that Xhaka’s elbow wasn’t deliberate and therefore wasn’t a foul, the FA website states that a penalty or direct free-kick can be given for a careless action.
“Careless is when a player shows a lack of attention or consideration when making a challenge or acts without precaution. No disciplinary sanction is needed.”
If Lee Mason believed the elbow to just be careless, this explains why, despite the foul being in the box, the midfielder wasn’t given a red card.
Looking at the specific incident, however, it seemed to be six of one, half a dozen of the other and it could be argued that Xhaka was just protecting the ball since Allen had his arms wrapped around him.
What do you think?