Ref Watch: Matt Ritchie deserved red card and decision indefensible, Dermot Gallagher says

Matt Ritchie avoided a red card
Image: Matt Ritchie avoided a red card, which Dermot Gallagher disagreed with

Dermot Gallagher admits the decision not to send off Matt Ritchie is indefensible and referees have left themselves open to criticism, especially after the Sadio Mane red card incident.

Former top-flight official Gallagher has been in the Sky Sports News studio to give his view on two similar incidents that resulted in two different decisions.

Mane incident

SCENARIO: The Liverpool winger is red carded for a high challenge on Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson.

DERMOT'S VERDICT: Correct decision.

DERMOT SAYS: His boot is five or six foot in the air and he's leading with his studs at speed. I fully accept he's going for the ball but the law doesn't factor that in. He's seriously endangered his opponent. We have to forget the consequences - he doesn't have to put him in hospital to seriously endanger the opponent.

Mane has disregarded his duty of care towards Ederson.

I can understand why some people think it's harsh. Most fouls are accidental; there is nothing in the law that says it has to be deliberate. The fact remains you can't lead with your boot that high. Jon Moss had no option. He had a great position - he couldn't have had a better view. His process is the correct one. There is no way out for the referee, he has to send him off.

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Sadio Mane was shown a straight red card for his high footed challenge on Ederson but was the decision harsh on the forward?

Ritchie incident

SCENARIO: The Newcastle man only picks up a yellow card for a similarly high challenge on Alfie Mawson.

DERMOT'S VERDICT: Wrong decision.

DERMOT SAYS: I would say it's a red card. I was surprised, especially after it came 24 hours after the Mane incident. The only difference between the two challenges is the blood and the outcome. I fully endorse what Moss has done, but I can't defend Mike Jones for this decision. The law doesn't say the player has to have sustained an injury.

If this one was given then we wouldn't be having this conversation as it would send out a deterrent.

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After Liverpool’s Sadio Mane saw red for a high-foot yesterday, Newcastle’s Matt Ritchie was given just a yellow card for a similar challenge at Swansea
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