One of the talking points coming out of Tottenham Hotspur’s win over Cardiff City this past weekend was the straight red card received by Cardiff’s Joe Ralls after a horror tackle on Lucas Moura. As Lucas dribbled past him leaving him for dead, Ralls threw a high leg out and cynically took Lucas out at the knees, stopping a promising counter-attack.
Official Mike Dean wasted no time in showing Ralls a straight red, and Harry Kane was furious, squaring straight up to Ralls and jawing at him. However, Cardiff manager Neil Warnock was furious with the decision, and Cardiff challenged the red card.
Today, the Premier League rejected Cardiff’s appeal, meaning Ralls will miss Cardiff’s next three league matches for violent conduct.
If you’ve forgotten the incident, here’s the match footage of the foul, courtesy of NBC.
I mean, it doesn’t really get a whole lot clearer than that. The best-slash-worst part about this video clip is that you also get the ludicrous commentary from Scottish commentator and former footballer Andy Walker, who claims that it should be a yellow because something something not a clear goal-scoring opportunity something something.
After the match, Cardiff boss Neil Warnock was livid about Dean’s decision, actually criticizing Harry Kane for getting upset.
“I don’t think he (Kane) needs to do that. He plays for England, I love him. I don’t think you should try to get other pros sent off, just because he’s had a poor game and Spurs were having a poor game.
“I thought Mike Dean, an experienced referee, was going to give a yellow card from the start. But he left it - there were on or two busy people around today, the linesman and the fourth official - and I’m sure one of those influenced them. I think when he looks tonight he would have given a yellow card nine times out of 10 if it was left to him. I think he was wrong.
“I think Mike when he sees it, he’ll be disappointed really. A third of the refs would probably give it, two thirds would probably give a yellow card. At that stage with half an hour to go, on the halfway line… it wasn’t a dangerous tackle, he hasn’t endangered the life of a player so I don’t know why it’s a red card.”
My take? Warnock is nuts — that was clearly a dangerous and extremely cynical foul and is a straight red 100% of the time. The Premier League has confirmed it. The incident should add a little extra spice for when Spurs travel to Cardiff City Stadium on New Year’s Day, though.