by Divyam Arora
Arsenal’s Champions League challenge suffered a major setback after a 2-0 loss to Bayern Munich last night. Arsenal started the game brightly. They seemed up for the occasion and looked full of energy. They had 2-3 good chances within the first 20 minutes but failed to capitalize. In the end they were left to rue missed chances and the penalty miss form Mesut Özil as they failed crack open the Bavarian defence.
It all down came to one incident, as was the case with Manchester City’s game the day before, the red card. Before that the game was pretty much even and it’s hard to predict who would have won. It was a definite penalty and I don’t think anyone will argue about that. But the twitter world exploded as Nicola Rizzoli showed the red card to Wojciech Szczesny. Some argued that it was harsh while others believed it was by the book. As much as people try to scrutinize the decision, the fact remains that it was the correct decision. FIFA rules clearly state that it is red card the last player "denies the attacker a clear goal scoring opportunity". Hence, the red card to Szczesny.
The debate is not that was it a red card or not, but it is whether it should be a red card or not? As Jamie Carragher said “It has ruined it as a spectacle for everybody in the stadium and everybody watching at home” and in Arsene Wenger’s own words, “The red card didn’t change the game, it killed the game!” And surely it did. After the red card, 0-0 was possibly the best result Arsenal fans could have hoped for. Bayern displayed total dominance in the second half and got the result they wanted. Now coming back to the argument, in my opinion showing the player a red card in such a situation should be the preferred solution. And that is because; it obviously prevents the opposition player from scoring a crucial away goal. Second, Awarding only a penalty might give goalkeepers and defenders the license to take attackers out in such a situation and escape with it. Third, If there’s no such rule, it will lead to further debate and will lead to unnecessary controversies so as to which card should the referee have shown.
Harsh indeed. But such are the Champions League ties, always hanging on a knife-edge and even the slightest error can mean that you are out of the competition. The red card proved to be fatal. According to the rules, it was the correct decision but it definitely divided a few on opinion. Should the rules be changed in order to have a better spectacle for the people watching the game or should it remain the same? Have you say about the decision and what you think the rule should be? And don’t forget to vote!