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Rio Ferdinand blasts referee decision in Merseyside derby

Published: Updated: 13:42, 23 Oct 2023
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The TNT Sports pundit claims that Liverpool were 'lucky' to escape a red card

Liverpool emerged victorious against Everton in Saturday's Merseyside derby, but not without a fair share of controversy.

The match saw Jurgen Klopp's side briefly ascend to the top of the Premier League table, thanks to a late double from Mohamed Salah. However, the victory was marred by a contentious incident involving Liverpool's Ibrahima Konate, which many believe should have resulted in a red card.

The incident: Konate's rash foul

Konate was already on a caution when he brought an early halt to a counter-attack by fouling Everton forward Beto. The clumsy foul sent Beto crashing to the ground, sparking immediate outrage from Everton players and their manager, Sean Dyche.

Everton players quickly surrounded referee Craig Pawson, demanding action against Konate. A visibly furious Dyche also vehemently appealed from his technical area. However, their appeals were dismissed, and Konate was allowed to continue playing, albeit briefly, as he was substituted almost immediately after the incident.

The match was already heated, with Everton reduced to ten men following Ashley Young's first-half dismissal. The controversy surrounding Konate's foul only added fuel to the fire.

Ferdinand's take on the incident

Former Manchester United defender and pundit, Rio Ferdinand, insisted that Liverpool were fortunate to avoid a red card for Konate's foul. According to Ferdinand, the incident was severe enough to warrant a sending-off, and Liverpool's escape from such a penalty was a stroke of luck.

Speaking on TNT Sports after the match, Rio Ferdinand said:

"I thought [Liverpool] were the better team but I still think they've been lucky in terms of decisions with Konate. He escaped getting a second yellow card and I thought they were very fortunate in that sense.

"I don't think Liverpool played particularly well today, I wouldn't say [Jordan] Pickford had a lot of saves to make.

"This wasn't a performance from Liverpool where you go 'wow, this looks like a team firing on all cylinders'."

This incident serves as a reminder of the fine line between victory and defeat in football, and how crucial referee decisions can be in determining the outcome of a match. It also underscores the importance of fair play and sportsmanship in maintaining the integrity of the sport.

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