Everton were left calling for a red card to be handed to Aleksandar Mitrovic on Saturday evening, but according to former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher, the Serbian was rightfully only shown a yellow card.
Gallagher was speaking on the latest episode of Sky Sports’ Ref Watch segment.
Frank Lampard’s side were forced to settle for a point in the game at Craven Cottage, but it was apparent the 44-year-old was not left impressed by the decision made on Mitrovic’s challenge.
Lampard said after the match: “It was a red card for Mitrovic, I have nothing against him but he knew, he put his arm up straight away. VAR is there to deal with these things.”
Speaking on Sky Sports, Gallagher has now said he did not think Mitrovic’s lunge was worthy of a red card as both players were going for the ball – even though the striker’s studs clearly caught Idrissa Gueye.
Gallagher said: “I didn’t think it was a red card on Saturday. I still don’t, but what I will say – there’s lots of people who do; he goes in, it doesn’t look nice.
“But I think both players are reaching for the ball. I think that’s the thing.
“I think what helps him is he comes from a short distance. He hasn’t got the momentum, he hasn’t got the intensity, and therefore it lacks the impact. But I think it’s what I would say [is] a strong yellow card – not a nice challenge, but not enough to go into that red card [category].”
TIF Thoughts on Dermot Gallagher’s comments…
We are still baffled by Mitrovic not being shown a straight red card, with numerous examples of similar incidents resulting in a sending-off already this season.
Did VAR get this one wrong?
A win for the Toffees would have seen them climb up into the top half of the table and above city rivals Liverpool, so there is no wonder why Lampard was left so frustrated.
Points and Gallagher’s argument aside, the nature of the challenge could have injured Gueye – a player who has become a crucial part of Lampard’s midfield since returning to Goodison Park.
However, there were also arguments to be had for penalties against the Toffees, so although it shouldn’t work like this, perhaps things evened themselves out over the course of the game.