Liverpool fans slam FA ruling after Leeds red card appeal decision made – ‘Awful decision’

Klopp comments on injury to Liverpool midfielder Harvey Elliott

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Liverpool fans have reacted angrily after the FA upheld referee Craig Pawson’s decision to award Leeds United defender Pascal Struijk a straight red card during their meeting on Sunday. Play was initially waved on, although the mood quickly turned on its head when it became apparent that youngster Harvey Elliot had sustained a serious injury.

Elliott’s Liverpool team-mates ushered medical help onto the pitch after the youngster sustained what was later confirmed as a dislocated ankle.

It was an emotionally charged incident, with the teenager only making his breakthrough under Jurgen Klopp in the early weeks of this season.

According to The Athletic, Pawson claims that the decision to brandish a red was his, despite the fact Struijk initially appeared to win the ball.

The Dutchman’s trailing leg caught Elliott’s ankle, however, and players are always likely to see red when an opponent has been put in danger.

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Leeds appealed the decision, although the FA have upheld the red card and the subsequent three-match ban awaiting Struijk.

Regarding a tackle which has divided opinion, a surprising number of Liverpool fans have voiced their disbelief on social media, despite one of their own young stars sustaining a serious injury.

“Awful decision,” said @charlielfc, while fellow supporter @markgat13 added: “Disappointed for him, even though an LFC fan, the challenge was not a red but the outcome guided the decision.”

Although there were voices who could see sense both ways, plenty of other Reds fans felt sympathy for the Leeds defender.

“I think he’s been unlucky, no malice in the challenge,” said @JCairns57.

The FA’s decision has come as something of a surprise, given that Elliott himself was understanding of the situation, despite his breakthrough season receiving a killer blow.

Taking to social media after the incident, the 18-year-old said: “Wasn’t his fault whatsoever!

“Neither was it a red card, just a freak accident but these things happen in football. I’ll be back stronger, 100%. Thanks for all the support.”

It is unknown how long the midfielder will be on the side-lines, although Andre Gomes sustained a similar injury in 2019 and made it back to the field in around three months.

Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa must now battle on with a centre-back shortage as Robin Koch and Diego Llorente also sit out.

With Struijk also set to begin a three-game suspension, Leeds face less than ideal circumstances to finally get their season off the mark having failed to register a win thus far.

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