In a recent Premier League match between Manchester United (white) and Southampton (Red), referee Mike Dean awarded a penalty kick to Manchester United in the 68th minute. The foul was committed by Southampton defender Jos Hooiveld, who proceeded to employ the classic “but I got the ball” defense.
As the frame grabs show, Hooiveld indeed does get the ball the first. But, he does so at the expense of Robin van Persie’s plant leg, from behind, leaving the striker vulnerable to injury.
In the USA, USSF has been clear that these types of tackles are to be punished and that “getting ball” does not always guarantee a legal challenge.
Should Hooiveld have been cautioned for this challenge? I’m not aware of the Professional Game Match Officials’ direction to their referees, but it is possible that Referee Dean concluded that the penalty kick was punishment enough. (Hooiveld did receive a caution for dissent in the usual dramatics that ensued).