Howe questions ref after Flamini escapes red card

Date published: Sunday 7th February 2016 5:04 - James Marshment

Arsene Wenger: Greets Eddie Howe before the match

Eddie Howe could not believe Arsenal’s Mathieu Flamini avoided a straight red card for his two-footed lunge on Dan Gosling during Bournemouth’s 2-0 defeat to the Gunners.

The Arsenal midfielder’s two-footed challenge on the Bournemouth man earned him a yellow card from referee Kevin Friend, but Howe insists the decision to send him off “was not a difficult one”.

The incident came in the eighth minute with the score at 0-0, before Arsenal went on to win 2-0 thanks to goals from Mesut Ozil and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Mathieu Flamini: Fortunate to avoid red, says Howe

“For me it wasn’t a difficult decision, I felt that the two-footed tackle has been outlawed, and it was a red card.”

The result leaves Bournemouth in 15th place, five points above the drop zone, and despite improving in the second half could not find a way past Petr Cech.

“We found it difficult to get pressure on the ball and influence their possession in the first half,” said Howe.

“We worked on a few things at half-time, we managed to get more pressure on the ball, we managed to dominate the ball, in fact, in the second half.

“It was just the cutting edge on that final ball and final finish, and obviously [Cech] is world class and he made a couple of great saves.”

Howe bemoaned a costly poor start to the game.

“We were slow out the blocks today,” he added. “That’s unlike us and when you give players of their quality that time on the ball they will punish you.

“The quality of the goals, especially the second one from a tight angle, made it difficult for us.

“After that we were unable to find a goal that would get us back into it and put them under pressure.”

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