Dermot Gallagher casts strong verdict on Leeds United red for Luke Ayling and 'offside' claim

Dermot Gallagher has cast a strong verdict on the red card shown to Leeds United's Luke Ayling in Sunday's Premier League defeat at Arsenal.

By Lee Sobot
Monday, 9th May 2022, 8:27 pm
Updated Monday, 9th May 2022, 8:29 pm

Whites right-back Ayling was eventually shown a straight-red card following a two-footed lunge on Gunners forward Gabriel Martinelli which was initially punished with just a booking.

The game's video assistant referee John Brooks then instructed official Chris Kavanagh to check the incident on his monitor and the man in the middle returned to upgrade the booking to a straight-red which lands Ayling a three-game ban.

United's Brazilian international star winger Raphinha was then booked for dissent as he protested the decision and Gallagher felt the actions of United's players in then pushing the winger away from the scene possibly prevented a second yellow also for dissent.

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FLASHPOINT: Referee Chris Kavanagh dishes out a straight red card to Leeds United's Luke Ayling, third from left, as Kalvin Phillips and Diego Llorente hold back a furious Raphinha, right. Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images.

The former Premier League referee also shut down suggestions about the possibility of Whites fans feeling 'puzzled' why there was no flag for Martinelli for offside as he raced clear before being wiped out.

Speaking on Ref Watch on Sky Sports News, Gallagher was asked if it was the right decision to send Ayling off and said confidently: "Definitely. I think the process is perfect because the referee, for whatever reason, he doesn't see this angle. I don't think he sees the speed he comes in.

"He certainly doesn't see the two footed tackle and without doubt when you see him go across the ground like he does, he's out of control, there's no way he can stop himself.

"I think it's a dangerous tackle anyhow.

"When Chris is sent to the screen he doesn't take long to look because the VAR have said 'look, in my opinion you need to look at this again, I think it's a bad tackle.'

"He has gone two-footed, he is out of control, the referee has looked, it doesn't take much of a second look to see the second angle from behind. Red card for me."

Pressed on Whites fans possibly feeling puzzled by play continuing in the belief that Martinelli was offside, Gallagher argued: "If he was offside.

"There's no evidence to show he was offside.

"You look across and when you see it you see the players and there's a defender at the bottom of the pitch and there's Martinelli at the top.

"The assistant doesn't flag, the ball goes forward but that doesn't excuse that, whatever happens.

"The flag can only go up if the assistant is convinced he is offside which he obviously wasn't.

"It wasn't one where he has waited where the player is offside as we have seen now in the modern technique where they wait and wait and wait."