Jamie Redknapp and Graeme Souness were involved in a heated debate during Sky Sports‘ coverage of Manchester United’s 1-0 victory over Tottenham on Sunday.
Paul Pogba set up Marcus Rashford for the winning goal in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s sixth win out of six since taking over as United caretaker boss.
However, Pogba’s late challenge on Dele Alli near the end of the match sparked controversy in the studio with Souness and Redknapp disagreeing on whether the Frenchman should have been sent off.
Here’s the full transcript of the discussion with Robbie Keane also dragged into events for good measure…
Redknapp: “I’ve done it before. That’s why I understand. It was a retrospective red card on Tim Cahill playing for Tottenham against Everton. What he (Paul Pogba) is trying to do is step across the ball to protect him.
“It looks horrendous, don’t get me wrong. It looks like he’s tried to go right over the top of the ball. Personally it’s not malicious. I certainly was not a malicious player. But it looks so bad.
“When I look back, I remember going to see Tim Cahill afterwards and saying ‘I really apologise for that because it looks horrendous, but I genuinely didn’t mean it’. It’s just when you step across the ball to protect it and let it roll across your body. It looks like a red but personally it doesn’t look like it is.”
Referee Mike Dean saw the incident and booked Pogba for the tackle – but Souness didn’t think that was enough.
Souness: “I think it’s a red card. Sorry Jamie, I disagree with you. It’s a red card. Not one ounce of doubt in my mind. Not one ounce.
“He knows what he’s done. Let’s start with what Jamie’s saying. You step over it and use your strength to keep the player away.
“But look where the ball is and look where the foot it. When you’re doing that your studs are generally always aiming towards the ground.”
Redknapp: “Do you think he tried to do him there, Graeme?”
Souness: “Well certainly. I would also say if the referee doesn’t see it as a red card – he sees it as a foul so, he’s seen it as we see it. He’s seen it as a yellow card then he know nothing about football either, the referee.”
Redknapp: “Well I know nothing either then. I’ve been in that position Graeme. Mine actually looks a lot worse than that, trust me. I have 10 times worse.
Souness: “I’ve been guilty of that (too) and received that.”
Redknapp: “Ha! We know!”
Souness: “For me there’s not one ounce of doubt in my mind that wasn’t him going over the ball.”
Redknapp: “But I just don’t think it was malicious.”
Keane: “I played in the game when Jamie did that. And I think Jamie did mean it to be honest with you! (laughs).”
Redknapp: “Hey Keano, come on mate. I’m the first to say…”
Keane: “I understand what you’re saying. But I don’t think he really needed to put his foot up that high. You can do it keeping your foot a little bit lower.
“There was no need for him to do it in the first place. He’s given the ref a situation there that could easily have been a red card. I can see Jamie’s point of view but his foot was very, very high there.”