Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti has sensationally suggested criticism of Jordan Pickford was the reason Lucas Digne was shown a red card in the Blues’ 2-0 loss to Southampton.
The Frenchman was sent off after riding Kyle Walker-Peters’ achilles like a skateboard in what appeared to be a clumsy and entirely avoidable challenge.
Speaking after the game, Ancelotti clearly wasn’t happy with the officiating – which we can more than appreciate – and suggested extensive criticism of Pickford influenced the decision.
“The red card was a joke, it was not intentional, for sure it was not violent,” the Italian boss told reporters.
“Maybe all this talk all week against Pickford, against Richarlison, affected the decision and if so it’s not right, it’s not fair. We will appeal, for sure.”
It’s a bold take from the Everton manager, shifting the blame away from his own players and onto others – but there is a palpable sense of irony in what happened.
Shortly after the Merseyside Derby, in which Virgil van Dijk had his season ended and Thiago picked up an injury, Digne took to Instagram to crack a tone-deaf joke.
The Frenchman shared an edited image of himself removing the red card from Michael Oliver’s pocket moments before it was shown to Richarlison for a dirty challenge on Thiago.
While Everton have done well to find themselves back at the top, they need to buck up their ideas because hacking down opponents each week will just end in tears.