Leeds United fans fume after Dermot Gallagher’s red card verdict vs West Ham

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Leeds United supporters were incensed by one of the decisions made by the referee in the 2-1 defeat to West Ham United on Saturday.

Less than 10 minutes after the second half got underway, Tomas Soucek thought he had scored an equaliser for the Hammers.

However, after being instructed by VAR to have a look at the pitchside monitor, referee Kevin Friend decided that Michail Antonio had elbowed Illan Meslier which led to him dropping the ball at the feet of the Czech midfielder.

The reversal of the decision to award the goal was then met by Whites fans questioning why the West Ham striker had not received more than a yellow card as a result.

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They felt as though Antonio intentionally elbowed the goalkeeper which would have resulted in a red card for violent conduct had it been decided by the officials.

On his weekly slot on Sky Sports News’ ‘Ref Watch’, in keeping with his usual viewpoint Dermot Gallagher was in total agreement with the judgement made on the pitch.

He said: “Well, certainly it’s a foul – there’s no doubt about that. He raises his arm and catches [Meslier] in the face.

“I don’t think Antonio meant to do that, but he did catch him – it’s a foul. They go to VAR and you’ll see how the process works, because that would have been given as a goal before VAR.

“Secondly, it’s a flailing arm, so it’s a yellow card – it’s reckless. It’s not used as a weapon to inflict damage, so it’s not a red card for me.”

Leeds fans certainly did not agree with his perception of the incident and likened it to Pascal Struijk’s red card a few weeks ago by pondering the question of whether it would have been a red card had Meslier been seriously injured.

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Here is what a selection of Whites supporters had to say on social media in response to Gallagher’s comments.

Martin Rooney claimed: “If it had been anywhere else on the pitch, he would have got a straight red. It was a red card all day long.”

Steven Jackson said: “Dermot Gallagher always sides with his fellow Ref’s fraternity, there’s no point in asking him really.”

Kenny Noden commented: “Inconsistent, poor refereeing in the Prem this season.”

Mark Macey asked: “So Pascal [Struijk] intended to injure [Harvey] Elliott? If Meslier’s jaw is broken, is it then a red card?”

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