Despite watching the match live, I'm a little late to the game here, so a lot of my thoughts will have already been covered. But here's how I see things on the two red cards. First, if I'm in the match and see each incident from the optimal angle, I believe I'd give red for the first but not the second. That said... 1) Koscielny red card - The foul is obvious, yet it's still a courageous call from Dean. I don't think the comparisons, like Englishref has made above, to other grappling in penalty area is apt. Sure, we can complain that holding on corner kicks isn't called, but this is different. Koscielny grabs him blatantly and deliberately because he's beat and he believes that the attacker is going to get to the ball with an obvious goal-scoring opportunity; that's a little bit different than some of the grappling on corner kicks, though, admittedly, only by a matter of degree. Anyway, 100% penalty for me. And, I think given our instructions and the perception of Koscielny being the "last man," red card is the only realistic option. As was mentioned above, Koscielny is making the foul because he's beat and he thinks his attacker is going to get to the ball before his keeper. The spirit of the law and game say it has to be a red. I do wonder, however, if an obvious goal-scoring opportunity was actually denied. There's a chance Tevez was always getting to the ball first (or that he ended up with a better opportunity) and there's also a decent chance the goalkeeper could have gotten to the ball first. I think this is one of those rare situations where the spirit of the laws call for a more draconian punishment than the letter of the law might allow. If you really parse this situation, you can make a pretty decent case that this isn't DOGSO, as spelled out in the LOTG. But, we all know what Koscielny and why he did it. As I've said in other situations--and despite everything I just wrote--we shouldn't overthink the obvious. Once you spot the foul and blow the whistle here, most reasonable and impartial observers are going to expect the red. Plus, if you didn't give red and had a DOGSO case for the other side later, you're going to be in a world of trouble. So, give the red. Dean did right. 2) Kompany red card - I've watched it over and over and over again and, I'm sorry, but I just don't see it. As some have stated, I see why and how Dean thought it was red. And, having given one the other way, a borderline case is probably going to be red. But I just don't think it rises to anything near the SFP level. To start, I think the contact looks (and is) worse because Wilshere slips, on his own, as the tackle is made but before any player-to-player contact occurs. More to the point, though, I don't think this is excessive force. It's a strong tackle, but not dirty or malicious. Yes, for a split second he's off the ground and, yes, the first leg is extended and studs are showing at one point. But not every single "checked box" is what it always seems. The studs go through the ball with the lead leg, play the ball away, and don't make contact with the opponent. The leaving of the ground isn't in an attempt to launch himself at the opponent; in short, it's not the sort of "two-footed lunge" we hear so much about. He plays the ball with the first leg and points the second leg downward, almost in an attempt to avoid any bad contact (which, he probably would have, if Wilshere hadn't slipped). The reason Kompany leaves his feet briefly is because he's tackling from a standing start--making a slide tackle, standing in front of your opponent, from a standing start is... well, if it's not impossible it's certainly incredibly awkward and would probably risk your own safety. So long as Kompany isn't lunging and exposing his studs at or into his opponent, I don't see a problem here. I don't see excessive force and I don't see the player's safety being endangered at all--not even close, in my opinion. This was a winnable ball, after Wilshere's final touch, which Kompany won. If this is a foul and maybe a caution in the "modern game," I accept that. But if this sort of tackle, where a player is seemingly taking great care to do a lot of things right, is now a textbook red card because one boot had its studs exposed and Kompany was briefly in the air... well, I don't think that's a good thing. You can say things like, "once a player leaves his feet, he has no control," which is a popular assertion with tackles like this. But, in this case, I think Kompany was always in control of what he was doing. I know why Dean went red. But I don't agree and I hope tackles like this aren't supposed to be red cards going forward. It's one thing to recognize some signs of SFP... it's another thing to put the entire puzzle together and ask the question, "was this really excessive force or did it endanger the safety of the opponent?"