Sadio Mane‘s high boot cost Liverpool its hopes for a comeback at Man City on Saturday, and means the Senegalese attacker will miss three matches for a straight red card.
Jurgen Klopp was furious with Jon Moss’ decision to send Mane off, and was nearly put in the stands himself.
Plenty of voters in our poll agreed that Mane should not have been sent off despite what — opinion alert — seemed a pretty straight-forward, letter-of-the-law dangerous play.
One thing is for sure, Klopp and we have differing interpretations of “high”:
“The referee was close to sending me to the stands so I had no power. I said to the fourth official that I didn’t think it was a red card. Hopefully it is not a serious injury but whatever happens it is unlucky. The foot was not that high, the goalkeeper came out to head the ball.”
Pep Guardiola wouldn’t commit to a verdict on Mane’s sending off (presumably he’s talking about impact on the match, though he could be referring to Ederson’s head injury):
“Mane didn’t see him, he was looking at the ball but the impact was huge. I don’t know if it was a red card. I didn’t speak about the decision when we had Kyle Walker sent off against Everton so I will not now.”
It seems we are not in the majority — it’s patently absurd to imagine that an elite footballer who lifts his foot to an unusual position isn’t aware of a charging goalkeeper — but City is in first place and the five-goal margin sinks the Reds down to zero for the season. Something tells me they’ll have a match or two along the way to fix that.