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BT Panel Say Emerson Royal "Killed" Spurs' North London Derby Chances

BT Panel Say Emerson Royal "Killed" Spurs' North London Derby Chances
By Eoin Harrington
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Emerson Royal was villain number one in North London on Saturday, after a shocking challenge on Arsenal's Gabriel Martinelli saw him sent off in the North London derby.

The Spurs right back completely mistimed his tackle, and caught Martinelli high on the shin for a red card with a half hour still to play.

Emerson's side would go on to fall to a disappointing defeat at the Emirates, with Arsenal coming out 3-1 victors.

The BT Sport panel discussed the result at full time, and Rio Ferdinand said that manager Antonio Conte would have been "disgusted" with the challenge.

Nasty challenge from Emerson Royal brings North London derby red

With the North London derby on a knife edge on Saturday afternoon, and Arsenal leading 2-1, Antonio Conte would have been urging his Spurs players to keep their cool.

Emerson Royal would throw that plan out the window with a wild tackle on Gabriel Martinelli. His studs-up challenge caught Martinelli above the ankle, and it was an easy decision for referee Anthony Taylor to send him off.

Arsenal would quickly dig in to the exposed Spurs backline, with midfielder Granit Xhaka sealing the victory with their third goal just six minutes later.

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The BT Sport panel dissected the game at full-time, with Cesc Fabregas, Peter Crouch, and Rio Ferdinand on punditry duties.

When asked about Emerson Royal's red card, Peter Crouch said he could not understand Emerson's decision to fly in with a wild challenge, while both he and Rio Ferdinand agreed that the Brazilian had "killed" Spurs' chances in the game:

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Crouch: I've got no idea [what he's thinking]. This is where the game hinged - you think, even if Tottenham aren't in control of the game, you always think they've got a threat with 11 men on the field. Martinelli is going back towards his own goal - Emerson Royal, it's just a ridiculous challenge, I've no idea. There's absolutely no need. He's absolutely killed the game.

Ferdinand: You're thinking, 'we have them trapped here, they're going back towards their own goal. Let's keep them there, make it difficult for them to get out. [...] To do that, he's killed his team there.

Crouch: A foul in that situation is bad enough but, in that manner, to get sent off, that's just ridiculous.

In his post-match interview, Antonio Conte did not comment on whether he thought Emerson deserved a red card, but confirmed that it had necessitated a complete change in his tactical setup - something which the BT panel described as "damage limitation".

Emerson Royal was not the only man to make a critical mistake for Spurs. His teammate Hugo Lloris was at fault for Arsenal's second goal, spilling the ball twice and gifting a tap-in to the in-form Hugo Lloris.

The Emerson Royal red card came just a day after reports emerged of how much the Brazilian fullback has spent on improving his game since Antonio Conte's arrival at Spurs. The reports suggested that his spending has reached almost £1 million, spent on things such as an oxygen chamber, personal scouting reports on Achraf Hakimi, and a personal neuroscientist.

He will certainly want to forget Saturday afternoon's North London derby at the Emirates.

His three-match ban will surely present an opportunity to Ireland's Matt Doherty to prove his worth at right back for Spurs, as they look to bounce back from a damaging loss.

 

SEE ALSO: Richard Keys Ridiculed For Bizarre Marcus Rashford Comments

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