Why Kai Havertz wasn’t sent off for dive in Arsenal win vs Brentford | Football

Kai Havertz was fortunate to escape a second yellow card against Brentford (Picture: Sky Sports)

Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher insists Kai Havertz did not deserve to be sent off for a second bookable offence in Arsenal’s 2-1 win over Brentford.

The Gunners looked set to drop two valuable points in the title race before Havertz intervened with a bullet 86th minute header that sent Mikel Arteta’s side, temporarily at least, back to the top of the table.

While Brentford had no gripes over the legitimacy of Havertz’s goal, Bees boss Thomas Frank felt the Germany international should have been given his marching orders earlier in the second half.

Already on a yellow card, Havertz threw himself to the ground in the 65th minute in search of a penalty following a challenge from Nathan Collins.

Replays suggested contact was minimal, and Frank later accused the former Chelsea star of diving.

He said: ‘They [the players] were very angry because they felt they were hard done by with the penalty shout with Havertz. You can see the angles, it was clearly a dive. That was a second yellow and then it is 11 v 10.’

Gallagher, however, was adamant match official Rob Jones made the correct call to show an element of leniency, while confirming it is not the job of VAR to intervene in this particular scenario.

Kai Havertz scored Arsenal's winning goal against Brentford and picked up the man of the match award

Kai Havertz scored Arsenal’s winning goal against Brentford and picked up the man of the match award (Picture: Getty)

Gallagher told Premier League Productions: ‘If you imagine the referee decides to give a yellow card and VAR doesn’t think it is, we’re talking about can the VAR intervene on second yellow cards. Well we all know it’s about direct red cards.

‘For me, there is some contact and that’s what saves him really. It’s not the best thing to do in the world, especially when you’re on a yellow card.

‘If you look where the referee is, he sees the tackle go in from Collins and sees the ball go to the right.

‘The clue for the referee is where the ball travels and the ball travels away from Havertz, so the referee will think in his mind from his position he will see the ball go there and think Collins has played the ball which is why he doesn’t give a foul.

‘He’ll say no foul, no dive. I think the referee goes dive he’s got to be absolutely sure because it’s a red card.

‘If you’re going to send somebody off for a dive you want where there’s clearly no contact where he’s thrown himself to the ground.


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