In Sunday’s North London derby, Spurs midfielder James Maddison employed an unusual tactic that seemed to challenge the infringement rule just before Bukayo Saka converted his penalty.
Saka gave the Gunners a 2-1 lead in the 54th minute following referee Robert Jones’ penalty call. Cristian Romero, who had scored an own goal in the first half, used his hand to block a Ben White shot from point-blank range.
Moments later, England international Saka sent Vicario the wrong way, but just before slotting the ball down the middle, an advancing James Maddison was observed leaping over the ‘D’ on the edge of the penalty area.
Many fans spotted the bizarre incident, including The Athletic journalistMichael Cox, who posted footage from Sunday’s game on Twitter alongside the caption: “Novel infringement tactic from Maddison here.”
Have you seen anything like this before?
novel infringement tactic from Maddison here pic.twitter.com/rDrwMmzZdI
— Michael Cox (@Zonal_Marking) September 24, 2023
Here’s how social media reacted to the scenes.
One fan said: “Surely that distracts the GK more, who’s the one looking in that direction,” while another commented: “Would it be legal if it worked?”
A third wrote: “What the f*** is this?” and a fourth added: “Need an ask the referee on this one…”
Maddison would soon play a crucial role in Tottenham’s equaliser, when he squared the ball to Son Heung-min, who would cooly slot past David Raya with ease to make it 2-2.
It was a fast-paced North London derby full of big moments. Ange Postecoglou’s side looked dangerous in spells butArsenalboss Mikel Arteta was somewhat downbeat about the full-time result.
He said: “We are disappointed not to get the three points that’s for sure. especially when you go in front twice, especially the moments when we conceded and we could have scored 2-0 with Gabby Jesus.”
Arteta added: “The second goal affected the team emotionally and it became a transitional game, which is a risk if you play against them. Then we lacked the quality in the final third.
“The energy the boys put in, the attitude was phenomenal. But we lacked composure on the ball against a really good Spurs side.
“Credit to them, they have the quality and chances to do that. We have simple giveaways and we didn’t do enough in certain areas to spread out in certain areas.”
Thoughts on Sunday’s game at the Emirates? Let us know in the comments.