Liverpool have today launched a formal appeal of Alexis Mac Allister’s red card for a 50:50 challenge with Bournemouth’s Ryan Christie that saw the Liverpool midfielder’s instep make contact with his opponent’s ankle as the duo simultaneously raised their feet making a play for the ball.
Despite the overwhelming consensus from pundits and neutrals being that it was a challenge very much not worthy of more than a yellow, referee Thomas Bramall didn’t see it that way live and VAR official Paul Tierney—who has a strained history with manager Jürgen Klopp—chose to uphold it.
That VAR decision signalled that Bramall’s decision was, if not right, at least not clearly and obviously wrong, and given that the same clear and obvious standard is meant to apply to any red card appeals we won’t be holding our breath that anything resembling justice will be done here.
At least theoretically, Mac Allister’s red card was for violent conduct rather than a so-called professional foul—such as a cynical challenge by the last defender back would be—and as such he could be set for a three-match ban for a challenge nobody watching at the time thought was a red.
“In real life it did not look like a red card,” Bournemouth manager Andoni Iraola’s said when asked about the incident following the match, which won’t be much comfort to Liverpool, Klopp, or Mac Allister if Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) uphold the decision as most expect.