Former Premier League referee Mike Dean has voiced his astonishment at Ibrahima Konaté avoiding a red card during Liverpool’s 2-0 victory against Everton. Konaté received a yellow card early in the second half for impeding a counter-attack by bringing down Amadou Onana.
However, just 15 minutes later, Konaté committed a similar offense against Beto but was not shown a second yellow card, despite protests from Everton players and coaching staff. Recognizing Liverpool’s fortunate escape from a potential dismissal, Jürgen Klopp substituted Konaté two minutes after the incident, bringing on Joël Matip.
The decision not to send off Konaté drew criticism from Mike Dean during Sky Sports’ live coverage of the Merseyside derby. Dean believed that the French defender should have received a second yellow card, stating: “I think it is a second yellow, I do. Consistency-wise, you send off a player for two fouls in the first half. He has done two in the space of 10 minutes. I guarantee you he will get substituted.”
Everton manager Sean Dyche also expressed his disbelief at the decision, questioning why Konaté was not shown a second yellow card. Dyche stated: “I’ve asked the referee; he said he didn’t feel it was a bookable offense and he felt that straight away. I don’t know what is then. I’d like to think there’s a lot of fair-minded people in football, and I think people who were here today would be stunned that that wasn’t a second yellow.”
Despite the controversy surrounding Konaté’s actions and the subsequent lack of punishment, Liverpool emerged victorious in the match. The incident occurred when Everton was already down to ten men after Ashley Young received two yellow cards in the first half.
The differing opinions on the red card incident highlight the subjectivity and interpretation involved in refereeing decisions. While Dean believed that Konaté should have been sent off, the referee on the day did not deem it necessary. The incident sparked debate among fans and pundits alike, with some arguing for stricter enforcement of the rules and others emphasizing the need for consistency in decision-making.