Dermot Gallagher has told Sky Sports that he believes referee Jonathan Moss made the incorrect decision to send Arsenal star Ainsley Maitland-Niles off during the Gunners’ excellent comeback win to beat Aston Villa.
Arsenal started poorly and were behind when John McGinn put Villa ahead. Things got worse when Maitland-Niles was shown a second yellow card for crashing into Neil Taylor, after earlier picking up a yellow for a foul on Anwar El Ghazi.
Despite playing with 10 men, Arsenal rallied. Nicolas Pepe’s penalty was cancelled out by Wesley, but Calum Chambers equalised with a precise close-range finish before Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang’s excellent free-kick secured three points.
Former Premier League referee Gallagher reckons Ross was wrong to show 22-year-old Maitland-Niles his marching orders, claiming Moss has not got the best view. It was not overturned by VAR, as it was not deemed a clear and obvious error.
“He’s very unlucky,” Gallagher said. “He gets the ball and Taylor comes down on his leg to get the injury. The referee hasn’t got the best view – he only sees the start of the challenge where Maitland-Niles’ leg is raised.”
TBR’s view – Maitland-Niles unlucky, but foolish
He can count himself highly unlucky to be sent off, as Gallagher states, Moss is in the wrong position to know conclusively whether it is worthy of a second yellow card. But he is foolish.
As a Premier League player, already on a yellow card, it is ridiculous to be diving into a 50-50 challenge like that. It is asking for a red card, and the England Under-21 cap is forcing the referee to make a decision. Still 22, he will learn from this.