English Premiership

Howe questions Francis sending off

2017-01-04 12:41
Simon Francis.(Getty Images)

Bournemouth - Eddie Howe felt Bournemouth were "harshly treated" with the sending off of Simon Francis as they drew 3-3 with Arsenal in their Premier League clash on Tuesday night.

The Cherries had taken a fantastic three-nil lead over the Gunners through goals from Charlie Daniels, Callum Wilson, from the spot, and Ryan Fraser.

But Alexis Sanchez started the comeback with 20 minutes to play, with Lucas Perez on target five minutes later, before Olivier Giroud, found a 92nd minute winner, but only after Francis was dismissed in the 82nd minute of the tie.

Francis was handed his marching orders for a rough tackle on Aaron Ramsey, but Howe has questioned the validity of the decision.

He told Sky Sports: "I think it was a key moment in the game, then it's just a case of us putting bodies in the way and make it difficult for them.

"I didn't think it was a sending off on first view, I don't think his feet were raised enough on contact to warrant a red card, that was my view the first time and my view when I watched it again. So I think we were harshly treated there."

He added: "The players deserve a huge amount of credit, that can't be forgotten, for the effort they put into the game, and then of course there are areas to improve on, 3-0 up in the second half."

Having led by such a large margin for so long before throwing it all away, left Howe with some conflicting feelings.

He added: "Absolutely mixed emotions, really pleased to go into a 3-0 lead against Arsenal, not something we really expected.

"The lads worked so well, so hard, and the key moment is them scoring their first goal, I think the game changes on that and we had to see the last part out with 10 men.

"We wanted to maximise the recovery time we had on Arsenal, make a fast start, a quick game, try and limit their time on the ball, I felt we did all those things and we caused them no end of problems.

"We feel the game should be safe, but you have to look at the quality they have. The second goal is a great strike from a really difficult angle, I think you have to give Arsenal credit for the quality of their goals."

The Cherries next travel to Hull City who have just sacked Mike Phelan as manager and will be looking to pile more misery on the relegation threatened side on January 14.

Kick off is scheduled for 17:00.

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