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Sagna slams North London derby referee over ‘silly’ penalty and red card calls

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FORMER Arsenal ace Bacary Sagna believes the club were “robbed” in their North London derby defeat against Tottenham.

The 39-year-old has slammed a number of questionable decisions made by referee Paul Tierney as the Gunners lost 3-0 against their arch-rivals.

Bacary Sagna has hit out at referee Paul Tierney over a number of his decisions in the North London derby

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Bacary Sagna has hit out at referee Paul Tierney over a number of his decisions in the North London derbyCredit: PA:Press Association
Spurs were awarded a questionable penalty in their 3-0 win against Arsenal

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Spurs were awarded a questionable penalty in their 3-0 win against ArsenalCredit: Reuters

Mikel Arteta’s side could have secured Champions League football with a victory, but the result leaves them just a point above Spurs with two games to play.

Arsenal were looking comfortable against Antonio Conte’s men before Cedric Soares was judged to have pushed Son Heung-min inside the box.

Centre-back Rob Holding was then sent off for two yellow card offences in the first half to all-but end hopes of the visitors nicking at least a point.

In another decision that went against Arsenal, Son went unpunished after appearing to elbow Holding in the 11th minute.

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And Sagna has spoken of his disbelief at the crucial calls made by match official Tierney.

Speaking to SunSport via Bet365, Sagna said: “Arsenal were robbed. The two major events changed the game for me.

“There was contact with Cedric, but football is a contact sport and we’re used to having contact in the box.

“As a right-back, I was used to getting into contact with other players regularly but that didn’t make the action a foul.

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“Ultimately it’s a shame, it was a really important game for Arsenal and by making such a big decision, the referee changed the outcome of the game. 

“For me it wasn’t a penalty, and it wasn’t a red card for Rob Holding either.

“It’s crazy how other players and teams can get away with bad tackles and even worse behaviour and then you see a player being booked so easily at Arsenal? 

“It’s silly as for a game of such importance, the referee doesn’t have to rush into decisions, he should take his time, reflect on the situation and call the player over and give a warning.

“There is a process and I have a feeling the pressure of the game got to him and impacted decision making.”

Arsenal fans are now fearing they could drop points against Newcastle or Everton which could see them miss out on a return to Europe’s premier competition for the first time since 2016.

But Sagna isn’t worried about a potential end of season capitulation, insisting that it has been a positive campaign regardless.

Commenting on whether the defeat at Spurs could be damaging, he remarked: “Hopefully it won’t be damaging at all.

Sagna believes that Rob Holding should never have been sent off against Spurs

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Sagna believes that Rob Holding should never have been sent off against SpursCredit: Getty

“They’re still one point ahead, so it’s all still in their hands and they’ve got the resources to come through it.

“They should sit down, talk it through and say, ‘OK, we lost three nil but that isn’t down to us, we were one man down and had a penalty go against us.’

“They have to use that as motivation for the upcoming matches. They have to win, and if they do, there’s no questions about this team anymore.

“I’m not worried about Arsenal, the outcome at the end of the season for them will be good.”





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