I was somewhat surprised to see that there was a sustained debate on Match of the Day regarding whether or not Claudio Yacub's foul on Diego Costa was worthy of a straight red card. I'm not going to rule out that this might simply have been a way to drum up conversation, but it seems more likely that this is part of that age-old 'he got the ball' canard.
Which is, of course, total nonsense. Observe:
Yes, Claudio Yacob got the ball*, but saying that excuses the tackle is sort of like claiming that defenders should be allowed to shoot their opposition with rocket launchers so long as the projectile hits the ball first. This is a two-footed lunge, which is by definition both out of control and dangerous, and it nearly did serious damage to Diego Costa despite the fact that Yacob got to the the ball first.
*This angle is not entirely favourable, but it's the one I have open right now so.
Initially and immediately after the match, I can understand a debate around this. But with the benefit of slow motion replays galore ... I don't understand how anyone can question that this is a red card by both the letter and spirit of the law -- just like the red taken by our own Cesar Azpilicueta at Selhurst Park. Even West Brom boss Alan Irvine called the decision 'understandable', which is manager speak for 'I am going to yell at Yacob for five weeks straight because he is an idiot'.
At least Costa didn't get hurt.