Sunday Sep 10, 2017. 13:00
Senegal’s Sadio Mane did not deserve to be sent off in Liverpool’s heavy loss at the hands of Manchester City on Saturday, according to Sky Sports pundits Gary Neville and Thierry Henry.
The Teranga Lions attacker was shown a straight red card by referee Jon Moss after colliding with City goalkeeper Ederson in a 50-50 battle for the ball.
Moss took issue with Mane’s raised foot, which appeared to catch the Brazilian ‘keeper in the face. The Reds player was sent off, while the City man left the pitch on a stretcher.
It proved to be a crucial turning point in the match, with Pep Guardiola’s team going on to claim an emphatic 5-0 victory.
“It's one of those I don't think he needed to give a red card, it wasn't expected and I think he's got it wrong,” Neville said in his role as an analyst for Sky Sports.
“How many times this season do you see a foot high, when a player goes with their head and the player gets there first and the foot goes into the chest.
“'You very rarely see a red card for it, you might get a yellow.”
Henry added: “I think I would have gone for it, it's an unfortunate 50/50 for the goalkeeper.
“The referee saw the player down and that played on his mind, sometimes it can play on your mind. The goalkeeper had to go for it, the player had to go for it and if that happened in midfield it wouldn't have been a red.
“Did he give a red straight away or did he wait and see what happened with the goalkeeper?”
Neville continued: “Let's not be clouded by the fact he's going to be stretchered off, that's unfortunately part of the game, players clatter into each other.”
However, former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher disagreed with Neville.
“It's a red card. I didn't initially think it was, I thought there was a coming together in a 50/50,” he explained.
“People will say ‘he had his eyes on the ball’ but that doesn't matter. Sadio Mane hasn't tried to do him but if you don't get there and your boot is that high you get a red card for excessive force.
“I took some convincing and I didn't think so on first viewing, but John Moss got it right. It was difficult for Mane, the ball was there and he had to go for it but he's suffered the consequences.”