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Dier on NLD sideline ruckus: “Their players approached us”

Eric Dier shushed the crowd, but says he didn’t deserve a yellow card for the sideline altercation.

Arsenal FC v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

To say that the North London Derby on Sunday, won by Arsenal over Tottenham Hotspur by a 4-2 scoreline, was contentious is putting it mildly. Emotions on both sides ran hot for the entire match, and the Emirates, far from the “library” that may oppositions fan deride it as, was a seething cauldron of noise.

The first time things spilled over was in the first half after Eric Dier scored a header to level the score at 1-1. Dier rushed to the corner flag to celebrate and “shushed” the home crowd on the way. He was immediately accosted by Arsenal substitutes, and there was a great deal of pushing and shoving near the touchline.

Dier was eventually issued a yellow card for his role in the fracas by match official Mike Dean, but after the match the Spurs midfielder tried to minimize his role in what happened, saying it’s a derby and it’s about emotion.

“I had my back to it all so I’m not too sure what happened. But this is football. It’s a derby. Football is all about emotion and I don’t understand how I can get a yellow card in that situation. It baffles me because, if you take the emotion out of football, you’re going to destroy the game for everyone.

“The ref said he gave me the yellow card because it was because of me that the whole thing started. If you watch it, we’re celebrating. I don’t leave the pitch at any point and some of their players that are on the bench come to us. Their players approached us. I don’t know what’s wrong with it. But it doesn’t matter. It wasn’t because of that we lost.”

That’s maaaaaaaybe minimizing Dier’s role in instigating the incident a bit too much, but it’s Eric Dier and we know he loves a bit of shithousery. That’s fine. I feel like a yellow card was probably a little harsh, but it’s hard to separate the shoving between the teams and the obviously provocative goal celebration that started the whole thing.

Whatever. Dier’s right — that’s not the reason why Spurs lost to Arsenal on Saturday. And anyway, as far as shithousery goes, that was a pretty spectacular example. Eat more artichoke.