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Indeed, the red card was very harsh decision Steve and effectively killed the game as a contest. I stopped watching the Wigan match immediately after the sending off and tuned in to the City v WBA tie instead.
Even Fergie admitted in his post-match interview on BBC Sports that the "red card was soft" and there was no malicious intention on Sammon's part.
Never a red card. A yellow would have been appropriate but probably a bit harsh. Unluckily for Wigan I doubt it will be rescinded as contact with the face was made with Salmons hand. The FA will just quote the letter of the law.
Even Carrick said it was harsh, and he got the slap in the face.
However I don't think it affected the result at all, just the scoreline.