Published On: Sat, Oct 21st, 2023
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Dyche points to Klopp reaction as Liverpool escape red card vs Everton | Football | Sport

Everton boss Sean Dyche believes Jurgen Klopp’s rapid decision to bring off Ibrahima Konate proves the referee should have sent off the Liverpool defender in their 2-0 defeat at Anfield. The Toffees found themselves on the wrong end of three major decisions from the officials as Craig Pawson sent off Ashley Young but controversially allowed Konate to stay on the pitch after a cynical foul on a yellow card.

The Reds had struggled to break down a resilient Everton side, even after Ashley Young was sent off in the first half for a second bookable offence when the full-back brought down Luis Diaz on the edge of the box.

Everton were later left furious with Pawson’s decision not to send off Konate when the Frenchman clearly tugged down Beto with a cynical foul early in the second half. Incredibly, the referee opted to keep his cards in his pocket despite mass protests from the players and coaching staff, with Dyche earning himself a booking.

And their misery was compounded by Michael Keane conceding a penalty for a dubious handball, with Mohamed Salah dispatching the penalty with confidence. The Egyptian rounded off a 2-0 win in stoppage time with a cool finish, but Dyche was left dumbfounded by the decisions of the officials after their late defeat.

And he elaborated by pointing to Klopp’s decision to haul off Konate just a minute after the incident, replacing the centre-back with Harvey Elliott as Liverpool went for the jugular.

“My take is it’s the bizarre nature of the modern game,” Dyche said after the game. “How they, at 0-0, have 11 men on the pitch… I don’t think anyone in the stadium knows why.

“Their manager certainly didn’t because he took the player [Konate] off straight away because he realised he should have been off the pitch anyway. It changed the game, quite obviously, and that’s the way it goes.”

Klopp confirmed Dyche’s suspicions that he took Konate off because he felt he could have already been dismissed, but the 55-year-old insisted the penalty decision was the right one after Keane was adjudged to have handled inside the box.

“I liked a lot of moments and then the red card was pretty influential in the game. I wanted us to be calm and ignore that we were one man up,” he said. “It is difficult in the stands because it’s like now you have to create with each possession and it took a while until we got chances.

“And then the penalty, I saw it back and it is a clear penalty. Ibrahima, could have gone, yes. It could have happened obviously and then we took him off and from that moment we were solid and compact.”

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