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“He just congratulated me” — Eric Dier on his tackle of Sergio Ramos

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With respect to the football dark arts, game recognize game.

Spain v England - UEFA Nations League A Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

One of the biggest things to come out of England’s 3-2 Nations League win over Spain in Sevilla on Monday, aside from the stellar link-up play from Harry Kane, was that tackle from Eric Dier on Sergio Ramos.

You know, THAT one.

It earned Dier a yellow card, but it certainly got Tottenham fans — and indeed most football supporters who have feelings about Ramos and his use of the football dark arts — talking. After the match, Dier told the assembled media about his intent and what Ramos said to him after that challenge.

“He just congratulated me. I just think the ball was there to be won and I think I won it. I don’t think it was a foul or a yellow card, really.

“It’s important to respect them, but at the same time, once we start the game, it’s every man for himself and we have to put our foot down, put a marker down and be aggressive. Still with respect, but we have to be aggressive, be on the front foot and show that nothing is going to intimidate us.”

Let’s take a look at that tackle again.

Now, you can argue whether or not that’s a yellow card (I say probably yes), but a sliding challenge in your opposition’s box over a 50-50 ball that has the added effect of taking out one of the bigger s—theels in world football certainly does set a tone. I tweeted from @cartilagefree at the time that Dier’s tackle was 100% unnecessary and that I loved him for it. I still maintain that take.

And, I almost have to tip my hat to Ramos not to be upset about Dier’s challenge. Game recognize game, after all. Although, Ramos did take to social media after the match to complain about Raheem Sterling trying to fake an injury, so maybe we should hold back on the respectful tip of the hat. He is still Sergio Ramos, after all.