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Payet and Hazard the must-have men

Fantasy Focus
ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Rodgers: Mirallas should have seen red

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has branded Kevin Mirallas "reckless" and believes the Everton forward should have been sent off for a high challenge on Luis Suarez during Saturday's Merseyside derby.

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Mirallas caught Suarez on the back of the knee during the 3-3 draw at Goodison Park, but referee Phil Dowd opted to show a yellow card rather than red.

However, Rodgers indicated Mirallas should have walked for what he deemed to be a "poor, poor challenge" and hinted it might have been a different outcome had Suarez have made the tackle.

Luis Suarez howls in pain after being caught in a challenge with Kevin Mirallas.
Luis Suarez howls in pain after being caught in a challenge with Kevin Mirallas.

"I thought Mirallas was so lucky to be on the field," Rodgers told BBC Sport. "It was a poor, poor challenge. I'd be interested to know if Luis Suarez had made the challenge, what the outcome would have been.

"He's jumping in, you see the ball has popped up off the floor and Luis is looking like he'll have a touch on it. But the ball was nowhere near his knee. And that's a real, real reckless challenge.

"That was a poor, poor challenge -- one that really rocked Luis. It was right in the back of his knee and could have been a lot more serious."

Meanwhile, Everton boss Roberto Martinez was not convinced the challenge was worthy of a red card and believes Dowd got the decision right to only caution Mirallas.

"You are going to expect that nature of challenges because of what it means and the nature of the atmosphere created around the players," Martinez said.

"I didn't think it was a red card. He was a bit late. Steven Gerrard went in with elbow [on Gareth Barry]. Overall, the referee controlled emotions of players well and allowed game to flow."


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