In the latest edition of a Merseyside derby that has seen more than it’s share of sending offs, Everton’s Ross Barkley was lucky not to add his name to that infamous list after getting away with an awful challenge on Reds captain Jordan Henderson midway through the 1-0 Liverpool win over the Blues.
Fully expecting Liverpool to have Jordan Henderson tribute t-shirts on next game after this Ross Barkley tackle.. pic.twitter.com/z8SRhsLjPZ— talkingbaws (@talkingbaws) December 19, 2016
Henderson, to his credit, was gracious in his criticism of his international teammate in the aftermath, "I think it was pretty late," he admitted in a post-match interview. "But I know Ross well. He's a good lad and I'm good friends with him so I think he just mistimed the tackle.
“Obviously after the game he apologised because it was a bit late but, thankfully, I'm alright. Like I say, I just think it was mistimed and you're going to get them in derby games.”
Here’s the cultured tackle from another angle:
"It's a derby,” the former Sunderland man continued. “It doesn't matter if you're friends off the field or international team-mates. When you're on the pitch, you give 100 per cent to win the game and we're doing that.
"And then after the game, you shake hands, you move on and wish them all the best. And, like I say, Ross is a good lad so I think it was just a mistimed one."
Reds manager Jürgen Klopp, however was a slightly more frank in his assessment of the tackle, "I saw it one time. Everything is clear. If you saw it say how it was," the German manager told BBC Sport.
"Maybe Ross was really lucky and Hendo was really lucky."
Although Liverpool is fortunate that their captain hasn’t joined the recent parade to the physio’s table, Barkley might might be the luckiest one in all of this, seeing as he didn’t get hit with the Diego Costa: