Newcastle United lost to Tottenham Hotspur yesterday at St James’ Park.

United matched the visitors quite comfortably in the first half when they still had 11 men. But the game changed due to a sending off that happened – and a sending off that should have happened but didn’t.

Jonjo Shelvey was the United culprit. Trying to retrieve the ball to take a free kick, the ball was petulantly pushed away by Deli Alli. In return, Shelvey stood on Ali’s foot as he walked across to retrieve the ball.

The referee sent off Shelvey. No argument there.

However the talking point amongst United fans has been about how media darling Harry Kane somehow escaped a red card after a brutal scissor tackle from behind on Florian Lejeune – which looks to have put the centre half out of football for some time.

The rules covering serious foul play are quite clear – and could have been written for what Kane visited upon Lejeune.

The rules state:

SERIOUS FOUL PLAY

A tackle or challenge that endangers the safety of an opponent or uses excessive force or brutality must be sanctioned as serious foul play.

Any player who lunges at an opponent in challenging for the ball from the front, from the side or from behind using one or both legs, with excessive force or endangers the safety of an opponent is guilty of serious foul play.

Incredibly the referee let Kane off with just a yellow card. And although 10 man United continued to put up a good fight, the extra man eventually saw Tottenham win by a couple of goals.

During our highly successful one season tour of the Championship, I’d forgotten how Premier League referees tend to show favouritism towards the media-dubbed so-called “big teams”. A group that Tottenham are desperately trying to join these days.

We were told that there would be a significant gap in class between the two teams.

We were told Tottenham had the best starting 11 of any team in the Premier League.

All I can say is – if that was the best starting 11 the Premier League has to offer, we’ve got nothing to worry about this season!

What do you think? As ever, we would welcome your comments, opinions and views below.

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