Sunday Independent journalist Mark Tighe was left baffled after Aston Villa midfielder John McGinn avoided a yellow while playing for Scotland at the weekend.
This weekend, Steve Clarke’s side managed to claim a narrow 2-1 victory over Republic of Ireland at Hampden Park thanks to goals from Jack Hendry and Ryan Christie.
It was a tight game, though, with John Egan initially giving the away side the lead, and it took an 81st-minute penalty from Christie to eventually settle the affair.
Unsurprisingly, captain McGinn found himself at the heart of things, and it seems as though he was perhaps a little lucky to avoid any punishment from the referee for his combative performance.
Speaking about the Aston Villa man’s display on Twitter, Tighe wrote: “How did John McGinn not get booked? Amazing. Would have given him at least one for diving, never mind all the fouls and kicking the ball away.”
Have you been impressed by John McGinn this season?
TIF Thoughts on John McGinn and Aston Villa…
In fairness to Tighe, McGinn certainly was an active presence in the game, with a lot of incidents that would have come under the scrutiny of the officials. Indeed, by the end of the match, he had made four fouls, was fouled twice himself, and only successfully completed one tackle, while winning just 3/14 ground duels (via SofaScore).
Evidently, though, in the eyes of the referee, there was nothing serious enough to even warrant a booking – not even the totting up of numerous fouls that went beyond the typical threshold of three – which tends to be enough to earn a yellow.
With two yellows to his name this season already for McGinn in seven Premier League outings for Aston Villa, the Scotland international certainly is no stranger to a booking. However, on this occasion, it seems as though he just about managed to get away with it – even if it was to the apparent annoyance of Tighe.