June 14, 2021

‘Disgraceful Richarlison could’ve ended Thiago’s career’ – Liverpool legend Aldridge calls for lengthy ban

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The former Reds striker wants to see the book thrown at a Brazilian forward who was given his marching orders in a dramatic Merseyside derby

Richarlison should be stung with a ban much longer than the standard three-game sanction for a straight red card, says John Aldridge, with the Everton forward having caught Liverpool midfielder Thiago Alcantara with a “disgraceful” tackle in a dramatic Merseyside derby.

The Brazil international was given his marching orders in the closing stages of a thrilling encounter at Goodison Park.

He lunged into a mistimed challenge on Thiago and was immediately sent for an early bath.

Liverpool are still waiting to discover whether a Spain international playmaker will be joining Virgil van Dijk in being ruled out of their upcoming fixtures.

With that in mind, and with Thiago lucky to have escaped a potentially career-ending injury, Aldridge has called for the book to be thrown at Richarlison.

The former Reds striker told the Sunday World: “That tackle was disgraceful, there is no other word for it. He has gone over the top of the ball and that is the kind of tackle that can end a career.

“Thiago is 29 and if he breaks his leg badly there, he might struggle to get back to his best. So the red card was not enough for Richarlison.

“That should not be a three-game ban, it needs to be much more than that and if Thiago has got away with it, he is very lucky.”

Richarlison’s tackle on Thiago was far from being the only incident to cause controversy when two old adversaries locked horns.

Jordan Henderson saw a late goal ruled out by VAR after the tightest of offside calls, while Toffees goalkeeper Jordan Pickford avoided any form of punishment for a knee-high challenge on Van Dijk that has left the Dutchman with ligament damage and facing up to surgery.

“The best referee in the Premier League was made to look like a fool by VAR man Coote and there is no excuse for him not asking Michael Oliver to look at the replay on that challenge,” Aldridge added.

“I don’t think Pickford was malicious in that challenge as he is a keeper who makes a lot of mistakes and appears to panic at moments like that. It was a clumsy challenge rather than a reckless one, but everyone agrees it was worthy of a red card.

“The idea that the VAR official was too distracted by the tight offside decision to see the challenge on Van Dijk is a joke and this needs to be a moment when we look at who is in charge of the VAR decisions.

“Maybe we need to get more experienced referees in because Coote has a history of missing big calls and now he has missed another massive one.

“He was in charge of the Man United v Liverpool game last season and missed a clear foul on Divock Origi in the build-up to the United goal and was also at fault for missing a horrible challenge in the Chelsea v Spurs game last season.

“There is no excuse when you can see these incidents from so many angles and while VAR is useful for some aspects of the game, there is a huge problem if the technology is not used in the right manner.”