Martin Atkinson angered Arsenal fans with his treatment of Yves Bissouma during the Brighton match on Saturday, refusing to book the player.
Martin Atkinson refereed the Arsenal match away to Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday, but he seemed to have a blind spot for one particular player racking up infringements.
Yves Bissouma committed six fouls and left a few Arsenal players flat on the floor away from the play, but somehow avoided a yellow card. Arguably, that foul count also should’ve been a lot higher, but Atkinson turned a blind eye a few times.
He stopped a breakaway counter-attack with a foul, he clotheslined a player, he gave away a free-kick for a high challenge, but none of it was worthy of a booking.
Only Jordan Ayew has made more fouls (seven) in a single Premier League game without being booked this season. That performance was against Arsenal too. Funnily enough, with the same referee in charge.
Understandably, Arsenal fans weren’t happy about it:
No card for Bissouma? This is getting ridiculous.
— Lewis (@LGAmbrose) June 20, 2020
What does Bissouma have to do to get a yellow?
— Tim Stillman (@Stillberto) June 20, 2020
How has Bissouma not been booked today?
— AFTV (@AFTVMedia) June 20, 2020
How has Bissouma not got a yellow card yet? I hate this ref so much
— 🅿️1⃣ (@P1AFC) June 20, 2020
Bissouma can literally stab someone and not get booked.
— TikiTakaConnor (@TikiTakaConnor) June 20, 2020
Bissouma down injured. I can only assume he fouled himself.
— Paddy (@PaddyArsenal) June 20, 2020
It was definitely bizarre. If Matteo Guendouzi makes one or two fouls he ends up on a watchlist, three or four and he’d be risking a sending-off, let alone a booking. As would most players in most games most weeks.
For whatever reason, Atkinson never latched onto the fact it was the same player making cynical fouls over and over again. Just like he never caught on with Ayew earlier this season. And just like he’ll fail to notice the next time it happens.