Alexandre Lacazette said in a recent interview that some of the decisions made by referees surprise him, and what he considers a dangerous challenge seems normal in the Premier League.

Recently it’s sometimes felt like people are arguing the opposite, for example with the outcry after ManĂ© was sent off despite leaving Ederson with stitches. Clearly those who thought it wasn’t a red card consider how dangerous a challenge is to be a secondary consideration at best.

However, you can understand where Alexandre is coming from. Often referees let the game run rather than pulling it back for a foul in the Premier League.

The stats reflect that there’s a big difference in how often you’re punished in the Premier League compared to Lacazette’s former league. 8,634 fouls were awarded in the Premier League last season, compared to 9,489 in Ligue 1, so clearly the referee doesn’t spend as much time blowing his whistle.

To take the evaluation a step further, in 2016/17 there were 41 red cards shown to Premier League players, but 96 shown in Ligue 1. So one in every 99 fouls is a red card in France, but only one in 211 is a red card over here.

If, as suggested above, you can get away with a bad challenge in the Premier League twice as often as in Ligue 1, then that changes your attitude to diving in. You may as well, you’ll stop the attack and you probably won’t be punished.

It also means that the worst offenders are more likely to spend more time on the pitch, continuing to commit those sorts of challenges.

Whether that’s a case of Ligue 1 being too soft, or the Premier League being dangerous, is another matter.

But there’s certainly a big difference between the two and it’s no surprise that Laca has noticed.

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Arsenal fan since a young age, now a season ticket holder who enjoys writing, tweeting and making videos about the Gunners.