The Arsenal-Manchester City game Sunday was filled with controversy. The most controversial moment came in the 75th minute, when Manchester City’s captain was ejected for what looked like a perfectly good challenge.
Arsenal's Jack Wilkshere dribbled inside City’s half, lost control after a heavy touch and Vincent Kompany cleaned up with a sliding tackle—he went in hard and initially left his feet, but kept his feet down when he hit the ground.
The announcers initially thought he had gone in two footed, but replays showed Kompany’s right foot staying behind his left foot. The challenge was exclusively done with his left foot.
From the referee’s vantage point it may have looked like a two-footed tackle, but other angles showed that it clearly was not. Kompany made a clean challenge and Arsenal really should not have even had a free kick.
Of course player safety is a big issue in all sports these days, and rightfully so—but you can’t take tackling out of the game.
There was nothing wrong with Kompany’s challenge and Manchester City should appeal the decision. It is highly unlikely that it will be rescinded though, and City therefore will be without their captain for at least the next three matches. That will obviously be a big blow to them as they try to work their way back into the title race.
Next up for the Sky Blues, a home game against Fulham where they expect to take another three points.