By Wayne Veysey

7th Feb, 2016 | 2:24pm

Souness claims Arsenal player should have been sent off in opening minutes of Bournemouth clash

By Arsenal correspondent Tony Hughes

Graeme Souness claimed Mathieu Flamini should have been sent off in the early exchanges of Arsenal’s clash against Bournemouth for a “reckless” challenge.

The Gunners midfielder was booked for a two-footed challenge on Dan Gosling just eight minutes into the match at the Vitality Stadium.

But former midfield hardman Souness is convinced referee Kevin Friend was too lenient on Flamini.

“That is a sending off,” the TV pundit told Sky Sport. “He’s a very lucky boy. He’s reckless, he’s off the ground. The referee has a clear picture of it.

“You see the reaction of the Bournemouth players. In the modern game, no grey areas, send him off.

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“He risked badly damaging Dan Gosling there. He could easily have broken his leg with that challenge. He’s gone two-footed, off the ground. It’s definitely a red card.”

Arsenal took the lead against Eddie Howe’s team soon afterwards, when Mesut Ozil broke the deadlock after 23 minutes with a clinical finish with his weaker right foot.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain doubled the visitors’ advantage a minute later with a fine finish across goalkeeper Artur Boruc.