May 26, 2024


Michael Owen says he finds it ‘staggering’ that Kai Havertz wasn’t shown a yellow card for pulling back on Jordan Ayew’s shirt during Arsenal’s 1-0 win at Crystal Palace on Monday night.

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Moments before, Takehiro Tomiyasu was shown a second yellow card for seemingly pulling back on the very same Palace player, as he tried to run away from him, but replays showed that there was hardly any contact.

That’s why Owen couldn’t believe it when Kai Havertz wasn’t punished when his shirt pull on Ayew could be seen from space, yet a free-kick was awarded, but no card was given, as he told Premier League Productions (21/08/23 at 10:15 pm).

The lack of consistency will annoy people, even Arsenal fans, because Tomiyasu deserved his first yellow for time-wasting, but not the second yellow.

There was hardly any contact between the Japanese star and Ayew, yet he was shown a yellow, sent off and now he is suspended.

And what’s worse is that VAR doesn’t look at such calls because Tomiyasu was shown a second yellow, and not a straight red, so those at Stockley Park can’t interfere.

“Ironic it was against the same player, Ayew,” said Owen. “Tomiyasu was sent off for pulling a shirt, which we don’t think happened.

“Then, moments later, Kai Havertz does pull the shirt. Look at that, the difference is quite stark. Yet, Havertz gets absolutely nothing for that, whereas Tomiyasu is given a red card. Staggering.”

On the face of it all, it was another win for Mikel Arteta’s side and a much-deserved clean sheet as they withstood the pressure Palace put them under during the last 25 minutes.

Only Manchester City, Brighton and Arsenal have made 100% starts to the new Premier League campaign, and with Fulham up next, they will be backing themselves to maintain that record.

Arsenal made a fast start last season, that’s not the issue, it’s what they produce towards the back end of the season that fans question and worry about.

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