Marcelo Bielsa’s men lost the game 3-0 at Elland Road, but the main talking point coming out of the match surrounded the injury that the youngster sustained after a tackle from the Leeds man which saw him receive a red card.
The incident has led to some debate about whether or not the tackle warranted a sending off, with even Elliott wading in himself (Instagram, via Eurosport) saying that it was “just a freak accident”. Speaking about the matter on Ref Watch for Sky Sports News, Gallagher claimed that given what the referee saw of the incident and the injury that followed, the referee was right to send Struijk off:
(0:48) “I think when the referee sees that challenge, he sees him go in from behind, the way he comes down on his ankle, and the outcome of it, now I’m not saying because somebody suffers a serious injury, it’s got to be a red card, you’ve got to be very careful that you keep the two separate. But in this incident, you look at it and the result that you come out with, it’s very, very difficult to say it’s not a red card for that injury.”
(4:40) “The law says, ‘Does he seriously endanger the safety of an opponent?’ Well, the outcome would certainly say yes. Did he mean to? Most certainly not. And that’s where the balance is, that’s the dilemma the referee’s got. But I think the referee has a very, very difficult job not to give a red card when you see the extent of the injury.”
TIF Thoughts on Dermot Gallagher’s comments on Pascal Struijk’s tackle
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So as Gallagher puts it, it looks as if referee on the day Craig Pawson didn’t have much of a say in the matter when it came to sending Struijk off and that it appears as though in the moment he made the right decision.
It should be noted that Leeds United are reportedly going to appeal the decision, and whether or not Elliott’s comments will offer any sort of leniency from the authorities in getting it overturned will be interesting to see.
Hopefully Leeds are able to be successful in their appeal, because centre-back certainly isn’t a position that they’re blessed in when it comes to strength in depth, and with fellow defender Diego Llorente suffering an injury during the game, they could very well be down to the bare bones for the foreseeable future.