LONDON • Liverpool forward Sadio Mane's collision with Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson Moraes was an accident and did not merit a red card in their Premier League clash yesterday, Reds manager Jurgen Klopp insisted.
The Senegal international was sent off by referee Jon Moss late in the first half - with Liverpool trailing 0-1 - after Ederson was left prone on the ground as both went for the ball outside the area.
Ederson required about eight minutes of attention before being stretchered off in a neck brace. But the Brazilian appeared in the stands towards the end of the encounter, which City won 5-0.
"The decisive decision in the whole game was the red card," Klopp told Sky Sports. "I don't think it was a red card, Sadio didn't see the goalkeeper. It's unlucky, an accident. The 'keeper comes out. You want to go for the ball."
Klopp, whose side went into the game unbeaten in their three previous matches, said he had bitten his tongue so that he would not be sent to the stands too.
"The referee was close to sending me to the stands so I had no power," he said.
"I said to the fourth official that I didn't think it was a red card. The foot was not that high, the goalkeeper came out to head the ball. Hopefully it is not a serious injury."
The talking point divided pundits even from the same family, with former Manchester United defenders Gary and Phil Neville disagreeing.
Gary, in the commentary box for Sky Sports, immediately criticised the referee.
"He didn't need to give a red card. He could have given a yellow," the 42-year-old said. "I think he's got it wrong. His (Mane's) eyes are on the ball."
Phil, 40, disagreed, however, tweeting: "Red card for me - good decision Jon Moss."
He later added: "Red card has spoilt this game - but that's not Jon Moss fault - his position was fantastic to see the challenge and show red card."
The loss was Klopp's biggest defeat of his Liverpool managerial career, one which came in his 105th game in all competitions.
With Liverpool having avoided defeat by their top-six rivals last season, it was also the first time Klopp's side had lost to one of their principal adversaries since a 0-1 defeat at home by Manchester United in January last year.
AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS