Lucas Digne has seen his three-match ban reduced to one, as Everton were successful with their appeal against his red card at Southampton on Sunday.
[ MORE: How to watch PL in the USA ]
Digne was sent off late in Everton’s 2-0 defeat at Southampton as he ran back to defend and trod on the back of Kyle Walker-Peters’ Achilles.
The French left back was shown a straight red card, which incensed the Everton players and staff as Carlo Ancelotti later called the decision ‘a joke’ and suggested that due to the criticism Jordan Pickford and Richarlison had previously received, the referees were perhaps targeting the Toffees.
[ MORE: What did we learn about Everton? ]
Here is the statement in full from the FA, as Digne will now only be missing for Everton’s game against Newcastle United on Sunday.
“An independent Regulatory Commission has upheld a claim of clearly excessive punishment in relation to Everton FC’s Lucas Digne. The defender was sent off for serious foul play during a Premier League fixture against Southampton FC on Sunday 25 October 2020 and would have been suspended for three fixtures. However, the independent Regulatory Commission has withdrawn his original suspension and applied a one-match suspension instead.”
This is probably the right decision.
Digne was trying to stop Walker-Peters from running free with a professional foul and instead of clipping his heel he tripped and his foot came down on the Achilles of the Southampton right back and the slow-motion replays did him no favor whatsoever.
Was it a nasty tackle? Yes. Was it intentional? I don’t think so. This challenge felt like it fell into the ‘orange card’ category. Not quite a red, but more than a yellow, so it was probably a red. A three-match ban was too much, so one game is enough.
Common sense has prevailed, but it also seems like Everton were cut a little slack after everyone piled on Pickford and Richarlison following their horror tackles in the Merseyside derby.
With Seamus Coleman out injured, plus Richarlison suspended, only having Digne (in the top three left backs in the PL) out for one game is a big boost for the Toffees.