Anybody who managed to watch the pulsating 3-3 Merseyside derby draw between Everton and Liverpool on Saturday would agree that it truly encapsulated what the Premier League is all about.
Historic rivals squaring off with plenty goals, controversy and late drama ruling the roost at a frenetic pace for the entire 90 minutes, just watch the highlight above to get an taster.
But all of that passion, drive and commitment spilled over just before half time when Everton’s Belgian winger Kevin Mirallas almost decapitated Luis Suarez’ right leg with an incredibly high, and not at all handsome, studs up tackle that left the Uruguayan striker with two gashes on the back of his knee and writhing in agony on the ground.
No doubt about it, the fixture which has seen more red cards (20) than any other PL game in history should have racked up another dismissal.
Even Mirallas himself thinks so.
“When I made the challenge the first thing I thought was that it was going to be a red card,” Mirallas said. “I was genuinely going for the ball but I know I caught him on the knee and I said sorry straight away.”
“I might have been OK because it was the derby,” Mirallas continued. “Because in those matches there is always a lot of contact, a lot of tackles going in.”
Kevin, even if it was the Merseyside derby and with plenty of other thunderous challenges flying around, the tackle you made on Suarez was appalling. I struggle to think back to a worse tackle that I’ve seen in the PL for quite some time. It somehow reminded me of Roy Keane’s infamous career-ending tackle on Manchester City’s Alf-Inge Håland. For the faint-hearted don’t watch the video below…
Ouch, okay Keane’s challenge was worse but the impact of Mirallas late tackle reminded me of that infamous crunching tackle that Keane used to exacted revenge on Halland for a previous discrepancy many years ago. Obviously the only saving grace for Mirallas was that his challenge on Saturday was made when the ball was bouncing and therefore it’s slightly more difficult to judge the flight of the ball and your opponent.
Regardless, it should’ve been a red and I applaud Mirallas for accepting that. He got away with one there and was Suarez was lucky he wasn’t seriously injured.
I’ll leave you with this question raised by Liverpool’s manager Brendan Rodgers: “It would have been interesting if Luis had made the challenge…” Do you agree? With his reputation as a trouble maker, would Suarez have been handed a straight red card had the roles been reversed? There’s no doubt in my mind that Suarez would’ve been walking… Mirallas is one lucky man.