Yesterday Liverpool suffered their second worst Premier League defeat of all time and the heaviest in Jürgen Klopp’s 72 games as manager. Although, Manchester City came out deserving winners after putting five past Simon Mignolet, the catalyst of Liverpool’s biggest defeat to Manchester City in 80 years was down to questionable refereeing. Jonathan Moss’s decision to show Sadio Mané a straight red card was a classic example of how an incorrect call can impact a game so much.
Despite the Reds trailing 1-0 when Moss dismissed Mané in the 37th minute, Liverpool were clearly the better side and could have easily been level if Mohamed Salah had converted Liverpool’s best chance of the half. The game was perfectly poised to be a great encounter.
A significant amount of Liverpool fans share the opinion that the referee, who undoubtedly had the best view in the house, made the wrong decision and consequently spoilt what could have been a decent game of football.
In a 5times poll conducted post-match on Twitter, 61% of Liverpool fans didn’t think Sadio Mane’s attempt to win the ball was a straight Red card, whereas only 18% were convinced Mane’s punishment was deserved and one in five Reds still can’t decide.
Thousands of Liverpool fans told us what they thought.
Let’s be honest, Mane’s speed and athleticism took him through on goal and was faced with a 50/50 change of winning the ball and scoring his 4th goal of the season. What other realistic options did the Senegalese international have other than continue his pursuit and challenge for the football?
Video images confirm that the Liverpool forward did make substantial contact with City’s stopper, Ederson Moraes; however, the same images also confirm intent to harm was never shown. Personally speaking, this should have been Moss’s judgmental thought before sending Mané for an early shower.
This incident will undoubtedly be argued for days to come. Nonetheless, the referee had a choice to make and in my view, Moss harshly dismissed Mané, in what was no more than an unfortunate collision. Otherwise, his interpretation must have been that Mané purposely wanted to cause Moraes harm by kicking him in the face, which clearly wasn’t the case as his eyes never left the flight of the football.
(Image: John Powell) Mané can clearly be seen challenging for the ball, something that any striker would have done.
Moss would argue that a verdict of dangerous play can be more than justified, however when a goalkeeper comes charging out of his area to face a speedy attacking player, leading with his head, then collisions are impossible to avoid. Contact was clearly made, but as biased as it may sound, I share the opinion of two thirds of the Liverpool fans who voted in our poll – that ultimately a red card shouldn’t have been shown following this hapless incident.
Carl Clemente (clemente_carl)