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Keith Hackett insists Harry Kane should have been sent off against Arsenal following elbow on Gabriel Magalhaes

Former Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) general manager Keith Hackett insists Bayern Munich striker Harry Kane should have been sent off for violent conduct in the 2-2 draw against Arsenal last night.

The former Tottenham Hotspur striker was only given a yellow card after elbowing Gunners centre-back Gabriel Magalhaes on the neck in the 55th minute, and Hackett could not believe VAR did not intervene.

Kane should have rightly been sent off, which could have given Arsenal a huge advantage in the remainder of the game and in the second-leg as the England international would have automatically missed the game had he been red-carded.

“Harry Kane can count himself a lucky boy,” the former FIFA ref told The Telegraph.

“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. 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.”

Premier League refs have sent players off for lesser offences, and Kane was indeed lucky to have remained on the pitch last night after his foul.

The Englishman was ready to play nasty against Arsenal given his Spurs connection, but he should have been duly punished for it.

UEFA needs to do better with its officiating as VAR should have intervened last night, and such high-profile mistakes should not be seen in such high-profile games.

Arsenal were also denied a last-minute penalty after Manuel Neuer brought Bukayo Saka down in the box, and while the decision will continue to be debated for long, VAR should have at least intervened and made the ref make a well-informed choice.

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