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ANDY DUNN: For lovers of fair play, Moses red card will rank among new Wembley’s great moments

Date Posted,May 27, 2017

Anthony Taylor’s decision to show Victor Moses a second yellow card was so grandly acclaimed, his mistake that allowed Arsenal to take the lead was pretty much glossed over.

That, as much as anything else, should tell professional footballers how strongly fans, of clubs and of the game itself, loathe diving.

Moses’ dismissal should be a watershed moment, even putting the debate over video assistance on the back-burner for a little while.

Referees generally KNOW when a player is trying to con them inside the penalty area. Having the conviction of believing your instinct to the extent where you send someone off in an FA Cup final is a different matter.

Already-cautioned Moses went down in the Arsenal box with 22 minutes left… (Photo: Action Images via Reuters)
…but Taylor had a perfect view of the incident and instead of a penalty… (Photo: Action Images via Reuters)
…he made the wing-back the fifth man to be sent off in an FA Cup final (Photo: Action Images via Reuters)

For lovers of fair play, Taylor’s action will go down as one of the great moments at the new Wembley.

He had not even had a brilliant match. Far from it. Never mind the confusion over the offside, the Alexis Sanchez handball that set up that slightly bizarre first goal was obvious.

But a couple of errors were emphatically atoned for when he dismissed Moses.

Again, if you wanted to know the extent of how much simulation – con-artistry is a better description – is hated, Moses was vilified on social media and by TV and radio pundits.

Maybe he should be given a slight break. It was just the default reaction of so many players and Moses was unlucky to run and dive into a ref with serious bottle.

After Moses walked, Chelsea’s 10 men managed to equalise but then conceded the winner (Photo: Reuters)

From next season, players can be hit with a two-game ban if, by unanimous decision, a three-man panel retrospectively finds them guilty of simulation that was not spotted or recognised by the referee.

Good. But the truth is that referees probably spot and recognise the vast majority of dives.

Too often, though, they do not have the backbone to punish offenders, particularly in high-profile matches between high-profile clubs.

Hopefully, Taylor might have just changed that.

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