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Former referee defends Sadio Mane: “It wasn’t a red card”

Former referee Dermot Gallagher believes Anthony Taylor made the right call by not sending off Sadio Mane for his challenge on Cesar Azpilicueta in the 2-2 draw against Chelsea.

The Liverpool forward was booked after six seconds at Stamford Bridge last night, but the Chelsea bench, as well as some pundits, felt Mane should’ve seen red.

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However, Gallagher says it wasn’t a wise challenge from the Senegal international, but it wasn’t a red card.

“It’s combination of things,” he told Sky Sports’s RefWatch, when asked why Mane wasn’t sent off.

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“I personally think it’s a yellow card. It’s not a wise challenge from Mane, but he leans with his forearm and he’s using that to get up off the ground.

“I don’t think he throws it as a weapon and he certainly doesn’t hit him with the elbow.

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“The ball is in the air for both players to challenge for and if you look at Mane, he’s always looking in the air. He doesn’t size up Azpilicueta to think ‘right I know you’re there, I’m going to hit you with full force.’

“All in all I would say yellow card. It’s a reckless challenge but it’s not dangerous.”

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