By Nick Ware

12th Apr, 2021 | 7:10am

Micah Richards slams Leeds decision after latest PL controversy

Micah Richards is adamant Leeds United and Liam Cooper have been on the receiving end of an inconsistent application of the law after his red card versus Manchester City.

The Whites secured a shock 2-1 win over the Premier League table-toppers on Saturday but captain Cooper was handed his marching orders in the first half after his high boot on Gabriel Jesus was adjudged to amount to dangerous play.

Referee Andre Marriner initially awarded a yellow card but on review upgraded his decision to a red and after a contentious decision the following day between Burnley and Newcastle United, ex-Manchester City defender Richards referenced Cooper’s challenge.

James Tarkowski raised his boot to Sean Longstaff when clearing the ball but not even a foul was awarded, and speaking on speaking on Sky Sports [12/04/21], via Football Daily on Twitter, Richards and fellow analyst Jamie Redknapp couldn’t believe the lack of punishment.

Redknapp said: “He nearly took his head off! It’s dangerous.”

Micah Richards added: “You saw the Leeds tackle yesterday with (Liam) Cooper, he took the ball first (before getting sent off). It’s just so inconsistent.

“I know we always say it’s got to be a clear and obvious mistake but it’s a foul! His foot’s high and it should be a penalty.”

Newcastle legend and all-time Premier League goalscorer Alan Shearer agreed with the sentiment. He tweeted: “That should be a pen. Anywhere else on the pitch …”

One rule for some

Richards is bang on the money – what is the difference between Tarkowski’s challenge and the one made by Cooper on Saturday? Except that Cooper’s isn’t half as bad.

The inconsistency is baffling, and it points at a bigger issue.

VAR is supposed to add clarity and substance to what is often regarded as the best league in the world, yet here we are again debating its merits and if it actually decreased its value.

The technology was used to reverse Marriner’s original decision at the Etihad Stadium, and it nearly cost us as Manchester City piled the pressure on in the second half and equalised through Ferran Torres to cancel out Stuart Dallas’ opener.

Dallas was at the double to down the hosts right at the death but it required a gargantuan effort to achieve this and the blame lies square with the officials.

Sure, Cooper’s follow-through was pretty high, but contact on Jesus was minimal and he got the ball long before making contact with the Manchester City attacker.

Tarkowski’s was easily more blatant, yet not even a foul was awarded – how does that work?

Fans and players alike are rapidly losing love with certain elements of modern football and VAR is perhaps the most pertinent issue at the forefront of this.

Those inconsistent decisions on the weekend are just the latest examples of this.

In other Leeds United news, Jack Harrison compares Whites U23s sensation to Ronaldinho.