Neil Warnock’s newly-promoted Cardiff City secured their first point of the Premier League season with a 0-0 draw at home against Newcastle United to kick off the weekend, but the number of goals belittled the number of talking points after a fiercely contested 90 minutes.
Midway through the first half after trying to pull one too many tricks out of his bag and losing the ball, Newcastle midfielder Kenedy lashed out, kicking Cardiff City’s Victor Camarasa across the middle of the shin in a move not out of place in a kickboxing match. The referee was standing only a few metres away, but failed to notice the blatant red card offense.
Craig Pawson has given out 3 red cards in his last 2 Premier League openers including a controversial sending off of Everton captain Phil Jagielka last weekend against Wolves.
Mr. Pawson would eventually show red in the second half, dismissing Newcastle’s Issac Hayden in the 66th minute. Hayden came on after the break to replace Javi Manquillo only to make a challenge which has been likened to the one Jagielka made in Everton’s season opener to earn himself a straight red card. Both challenges have been hotly discussed, with pundits and officials seeing different points of view regarding the intent to play the ball versus the man, the angle and speed of the tackle, and the height of the foot.
Keeping the form of what was an already controversial match, Harry Arter, the Bournemouth midfielder turned Bluebird slid in very late on Spanish striker Joselu who was looking to counter-attack, catching him on the upper leg in a very similar challenge to the one made by Issac Hayden just minutes before. Arter was given a yellow card, igniting frustrations amongst the Newcastle players for the perceived lack of continuity in Mr. Pawson’s decisions.
Proving an old-fashioned scrum of a football match, the two teams battled past the 90 and into extra time when Newcastle’s new signing Yoshinori Muto won a penalty kick in the 95th minute off a handball from Cardiff’s captain Sean Morrison, who raised his hand into an unnatural position while trying to block Muto’s cross.
Enter Kenedy – the Brazilian attacker who likely should’ve received a red card in the first half for his reckless kick out, stepped up to take the penalty. To the relief of the Bluebird’s fans he struck it more or less straight down the middle of Neil Etheridge’s goal who stopped it dead.
Neil Etheridge has saved a penalty in each of his last two games for Cardiff City, and was called upon to make a number of important saves against the Magpies to keep a clean sheet.
NBCSN studio pundits Robbie Mustoe and Robbie Earle both agreed it was clear the challenge was deserving of a straight red card, while across the pond the buzz around England all weekend was that Kenedy could very well be in for a three match retrospective ban from the FA, which would take him out of the teamsheet for upcoming matches against Chelsea, Man City, and Arsenal, but it was announced on Monday that no retrospective action would be taken against him.
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