Watford should be playing for more than half the match with a man advantage after Antonio Barragan committed two blatant yellow card offences in the space of ten minutes.
The Spanish right-back was booked for a cynical foul on Isaac Success and then made an even more blatant foul on the Nigerian just minutes later. But referee Roger East, who has shown red cards in three of his past five games, opted for a lenient approach and just gave Barragan a final warning – much to the dismay of the Watford players.
“That has to be a yellow card and he has to be sent off,” said co-commentator Andy Hinchcliffe on the second foul. “It’s worse than the first. The home fans are hushed as they know their right-back should be off. He clearly pulls him back. I’m not one for wanting players sent off but how you can give a yellow card for the first and not the second amazes me.”
Added Jamie Redknapp. “It’s unanimous in here [the studio]. It was a very strange decision. It’s poor defending for the first yellow card. The second one, I don’t know how he [the referee] can’t see it’s the most blatant yellow card. He just grabs hold of him It’s a 100 per cent yellow. If [Aitor] Karanka keeps him at right-back, he’s going to get sent off. He’s got to make a substitution there.”
Matt Le Tissier concurred. “You could argue the second one is more of a yellow card than the first,” he said. “It’s in a far more dangerous position. I just don’t get the logic.”