Liverpool defender Ibrahima Konaté was lucky not to have received a second booking against Everton in the Merseyside derby and Gary Lineker has aired his views on the matter.
In the recent Merseyside derby between Liverpool and Everton, there was controversy surrounding the referee’s decisions.
Alan Shearer, Gary Lineker, and Micah Richards all believed that Liverpool’s Ibrahima Konaté should have been sent off during the match. Despite this, Konaté escaped punishment for challenges on Amadou Onana and Beto in the second half.
During a discussion on The Rest Is Football podcast, Richards praised Everton’s defensive performance, highlighting the impressive displays of James Tarkowski and Jarrad Branthwaite.
Lineker then chimed in, stating that the real story of the game was the number of yellow cards shown, the wrong player being sent off, and another player not being punished for a similar offense.
Lineker expressed his belief that Konaté was fortunate to avoid a second yellow card and subsequent dismissal. Shearer agreed with Lineker’s assessment but disagreed regarding Ashley Young’s dismissal.
Shearer acknowledged that Young deserved to be sent off for receiving two yellow cards but argued that if the referee was consistent, Konaté should have also received a second yellow card for his challenge.
“Well, the story of the game was the tale of lots of yellow cards, the wrong player getting sent off and another not for very similar offenses,” Lineker said.
“Yeah, Konaté was very, very fortunate and I think any other day another referee gives him another yellow card and he’s off,”
Shearer agreed, though wasn’t able to uphold his co-host’s belief about Young’s dismissal.
He continued: “Ashley Young was correctly given two yellow cards, it was a stupid challenge when you’re on the yellow, but if the referee is doing that then he has to give Konate a second yellow card. He clearly wipes him out.”
Richards concurred with Lineker and Shearer, acknowledging that the referee made a mistake in not sending off Konaté.
However, he also praised Everton’s performance, particularly highlighting Dwight McNeil’s form, James Garner’s impact in midfield alongside Onana and Doucouré, and Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s return from injury.
Richards expressed optimism about Everton’s prospects for the season if it continues to defend well.
In addition to its performance against Liverpool, Everton had won three out of its last four matches before the international break, providing encouragement for its fans.
Lineker emphasized that while it was important not to get carried away, there were signs of improvement for Everton. Still, it was yet another Anfield defeat for Sean Dyche’s men.