The return of the Premier League lasted all of 37 minutes before descending into chaos
Red card or not?
The Premier League returned from its two-week holiday with a superb early kick-off – Manchester City v Liverpool was sure to be a great game, wasn’t it?
Well, 37 minutes in, it all went a little bit wrong.
With Liverpool 1-0 down, Sadio Mane contested a ball with City goalkeeper Ederson, but ended up giving the goalie quite a shock.
I've recently saw the images at Etihad, get well soon Ederson.— Willy Caballero (@willy_caballero) September 9, 2017
Ederson had to go off, replaced with Claudio Bravo, while Mane was shown a straight red card.
I said to Sadio Mané Did you mean to kick Ederson in the head? He said No, James. I said Well you did Sadio. He said I know, James.— Boring James Milner (@BoringMilner) September 9, 2017
However, that wasn’t the end of the matter – some thought the referee’s decision was spot on, a red card for dangerous play.
You could say "what else is Mane meant to do" but Ederson's head already there before he even begins to raise foot so high. It's reckless.— Miguel Delaney (@MiguelDelaney) September 9, 2017
What Mane did was not malicious. Clearly not. But if you go in that high and connect with the man, it has to be a red— Oliver Holt (@OllieHolt22) September 9, 2017
For some, fantasy football might have played a part.
The reaction to the Mane red card shows how many people have him in their fantasy team— Tom McGowan (@tompmcgowan) September 9, 2017
However, not everybody agreed with the decision.
Concern over Ederson, who has stayed down, but Mane red card looked pretty harsh to me. It was hardly Schumacher on Battiston. #MCFC 1-0— Oliver Kay (@OliverKayTimes) September 9, 2017
That's a joke decision. Mane only ever looking at the ball.— James Pearce (@JamesPearceEcho) September 9, 2017
If that's a red card for Mane the game is gone. Referees have to understand a player is playing the ball in that situation & no malice.— Keith Downie (@SkySports_Keith) September 9, 2017
However, the issue at hand was whether Mane had endangered the safety of his opponent, which many believed he had.
Not even the Neville brothers, Gary and Phil, could agree, it seemed.
Replays on Mane/Ederson clash: ouch. Gary Neville is sticking to his guns that it wasn't a red...? Hmm 🤔 #MCILIV— FourFourTwo ⚽️ (@FourFourTwo) September 9, 2017
Red card, or no red card?