Everton midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin was sent off away at Manchester City after collecting his second booking late into the game. Referee Bobby Madley did not hesitate to pull out the yellow card despite it being quite clear even to the naked eye that Schneiderlin got the ball, all of it, and did not actually go through the Argentine.
- The ball is coming at Aguero at speed
- Schneiderlin comes sliding in from behind
- His leading right foot gets the ball from Aguero’s left side
- His trailing left foot is tucked in under him
- Aguero actually steps back to ensure contact
- Trailing left foot catches Aguero’s left heel
- Aguero goes down screaming
- Striker pops up immediately after whistle blows
Schneiderlin is furious at Aguero’s histrionics, and immediately accuses him of diving. It will be interesting to see if the Premier League’s newly-convened disciplinary panel reviews the Argentine’s dive for a retroactive suspension, considering he had dived just a few minutes before as well when he went up for a cross with Leighton Baines.
Surely if this caution is upheld then everything any footballer has ever been taught about tackling needs to be thrown out of the window and the game turned into a non-contact sport. However, even with the rule changes, what has not changed is that appeals cannot be made by a club for a second yellow card (unless it’s a case of mistaken identity), which is an even bigger travesty than Madley’s highly questionable decision-making skills.
However, the midfielder is also partly responsible here, despite how brilliant his tackle ultimately was. Having taken a needless booking so early on in the game, he became a marked man for City’s highly-accomplished diving team. Caught up in the heat of the moment late on in the game, it’s hard to fault Schneiderlin for executing the perfect challenge, but he was also very unfortunate to be on the wrong end of a bizarrely inconsistent officiating performance from Madley.
It’s looking like Everton will be without Schneiderlin now for a key away game at Chelsea next weekend. This disturbing trend seemed to happen a lot last season too, with the Blues missing out on their French pivot at critical junctures of the season even if it was through no fault of his own.