You’ve probably seen Lucas Torreira pick up a red card at the very end of the North-London Derby on Saturday for a foul on Tottenham Hotspur’s Danny Rose. The decision from referee Anthony Taylor was, to put it mildly, ridiculous. The Uruguayan did commit a foul, and it was somewhat reckless from him, and it probably deserved a card, but certainly not a red one. There was no intention, no malice in what he did.
Torreira now faces a three-match ban because of Taylor doing a poor job, and he’s set to miss not only the crucial crunch clash with Manchester United next weekend, but also games against Newcastle and Everton.
But it could have been worse. The midfielder was furious with the referee, and he apparently waited in the tunnel to confront him. Who knows what could have come out from such an encounter, and Torreira’s unlikely saviour turned out to be none other than Mauricio Pochettino.
While the Spurs manager later claimed he had only said “hello” to Torreira, Evening Standard report that the two of them spoke in Spanish for a while, and that Pochettino revealed his belief to Torreira that his attempt to win the ball off Rose seemed pretty genuine to him. Such unexpected support obviously calmed Torreira’s South American temper down and he gave up on the idea of giving Taylor a piece of his mind, which would have certainly resulted in an extended ban.
As it is, Arsenal and manager Unai Emery will be missing their defensive midfielder for only three games – and that’s more than enough, given that the upcoming period will be crucial in the Gunners’ attempt to make top four and qualify for the Champions League next season.