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Harry Kane elbow was a nailed-on red card – he knew what he was doing

Harry Kane with the elbow on Gabriel – Harry Kane elbow was a nailed-on red card – he knew what he was doing
Gabriel goes down after contact from Harry Kane

Harry Kane can count himself a lucky boy. His swinging elbow to the face of Arsenal defender Gabriel in the 55th minute of Tuesday night’s thrilling Champions League quarter-final first leg was dangerous, reckless and with excessive force.

Kane knew exactly what he was doing, as you can tell from his glance back at Gabriel to see where his opponent was positioned. I’m sorry, but as soon as you take your eyes off the ball and play the man, you are asking for trouble.

The elbow is a dangerous area when it comes to officiating, because it can easily be used to inflict considerable damage if used incorrectly. This was a prime example of that where Kane used his elbow as a weapon, and the swinging motion combined with the look back at Gabriel moments before the contact leaves the Bayern Munich striker no defence.

Kane appeared to glance back to see where Gabriel was
Kane appeared to glance back to see where Gabriel was - TNT Sports
He then went on to make contact with the Arsenal defender
He then went on to make contact with the Arsenal defender - TNT Sports

It qualifies as a violent action and had he committed the offence in the Premier League, I am sure he would have been sent off. It is a nailed on red card for me.

Uefa is notably more relaxed when it comes to Video Assistant Referee usage and I was surprised when Dutch official Pol van Boekel and his assistant Dennis Higler elected not to review it at all. Had Kane connected with an elbow playing in the English top flight, I have no doubt that the referee would have been advised to go to the screen and take a second look at the challenge, and would expect to then see a red card produced.

Last Sunday I gave Casemiro the benefit of the doubt for his rash challenge on Luis Diaz in the 2-2 draw between Manchester United and Liverpool, but I can see no leeway on this occasion.

As it was, Kane can consider himself extremely lucky to have only received a yellow card that leaves him available for the second leg with everything still to play for. It could come to be a crucial and potentially-decisive moment in the quarter-final tie.

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