Everton and Liverpool played out a breathless 3-3 draw at Goodison Park on Saturday, in one of the games of the Premier League season.
However, the way the game panned out could have been so different had Kevin Mirallas been sent off in the first half.
Everton’s Belgian attacker was shown a yellow card for a studs-up horror challenge on Luis Suarez, which left the Liverpool man with gashes on his knee.
Brendan Rodgers is in no doubt that Mirallas should have been given his marching orders after the challenge in the 33rd minute of the derby clash.
“I thought Mirallas should have been sent off,” Rodgers admitted after the game.
“It would have been interesting to see what the referee would have done if it had been Luis making that kind of challenge.
“Mirallas looks an honest player and sometimes attackers make challenges that are poor.
“That was a really bad challenge. If you look at it in slow motion, you see Mirallas catches Luis on the back of his knee.
“That can end your career. Jumping in like that was awful. It was a nasty challenge. You don’t see Luis staying down very often, so I knew it was bad.
“It took him 15 minutes to run the injury off, but he has shown again that he is a player who goes right to the limit in every game.”
Rodgers’ comments are interesting, and it certainly was a key moment in the game. Had the roles been reversed, would Suarez have been given a red card, instead of Mirallas’ yellow?
Suarez has also been accredited with diving during his time in England, and it is worth contemplating whether Phil Dowd took the Uruguayan’s reputation for the theatric into consideration.
With Suarez rolling around on the ground in pain, did the referee think the Liverpool man was making too much out of the challenge?
Watching the challenge back, Mirallas could have had no real complaints if he had been shown a red card for the tackle.
Whether Suarez’s reputation played a part in Dowd’s decision-making process, only the referee knows.
image: © dannymol