One contentious incident from Liverpool’s win over Everton on Saturday was unsurprisingly the subject of discussion on Sky Sports earlier today.
During Dermot Gallagher’s weekly Ref Watch segment, he looked back on the foul by Ibrahima Konate on Beto which had the Toffees understandably clamouring for the Frenchman to be shown a second yellow card by referee Craig Pawson.
The former Premier League official stated that the Reds defender was ‘very’ lucky not to have been sent off, adding: “There’s a few things. It was cynical, he doesn’t make any attempt to play the ball. Maybe Craig’s argument is that he’s not going to get the ball, but Konate knew what he was doing.
“What summed it up is [that] a minute later, the bench have said to [Matip] ‘get ready to go on’. They’ve subbed him and that tells you the story.”
Former Liverpool defender Stephen Warnock was also adamant that the 24-year-old should’ve been dismissed, saying: “The other thing is, why is Beto going down? He’s actually into the Liverpool half and he’s gonna go in on a one-v-one. There’s no reason for Beto to go down at all.
“It was such a cynical foul. How it’s not a [second] yellow card is beyond me. It’s a terrible decision.”
When asked if Konate would’ve been sent off had it occurred at Goodison Park rather than Anfield, Everton-supporting ex-England international Sue Smith said: “It does make you think that. It’s 100% a yellow card. I was watching it live and I was like ‘it’s got to be a second yellow’.”
It’s hard to think anything other than that the Liverpool centre-back was lucky not to be dismissed, especially when James Tarkowski was booked for a similar incident earlier in the match.
Even if the Reds were probably due a big refereeing decision to go in their favour following what happened at Tottenham last month, two wrongs don’t make a right, and it was good to see Jurgen Klopp acknowledging that we got away with one on Saturday over this flashpoint.
Liverpool still fully deserved to win on the balance of play across 90 minutes, but Konate was fortunate to stay on the pitch and refereeing standards in the Premier League are still well below par.
You can view Gallagher, Warnock and Smith reacting to the incident below, via @footballdaily on Twitter/X:
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) October 23, 2023