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Ex-referee Dermot Gallagher reckons Cristiano Ronaldo was lucky not to see red

Dermot Gallagher Cristiano Ronaldo

Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher has argued that Cristiano Ronaldo was lucky not to have been sent off against Liverpool.

A visibly frustrated Ronaldo knocked Liverpool’s Curtis Jones over late on in the first half while Manchester United were trailing 3-0, and then kicked the ball into the 20-year-old on two occasions while he was on the ground.

Ronaldo was found to have made contact with the ball and not Jones with both of his kicks, but he very easily could have kicked the Liverpool midfielder while he was on the ground.

Gallagher was speaking on Sky Sports’ Ref Watch, and while he agreed that only a yellow card was warranted, he believes United’s star man was fortunate to avoid being sent off.

Dermot Gallagher on Cristiano Ronaldo.

“Ronaldo was lucky the ball was there, that is what saved him from being shown a red card. What also helped was that he stopped when he did,” Gallagher commented.

“It wasn’t the wisest thing to do, there is force behind the kicks, but the fact that the ball was there has done him a great favour.

“When you look at it in the end, the yellow card was the right decision. It’s difficult to say if things would have been different had Jones rolled about on the floor but he didn’t, he was very good and very professional.”

United were ultimately reduced to 10 men anyway.

Although Ronaldo narrowly avoided being given his marching orders, United team mate Paul Pogba was not so lucky. The Frenchman was shown a red card for a tackle on Liverpool’s Naby Keita on 60 minutes.

Referee Anthony Taylor originally gave Pogba a yellow card for the tackle, but after a VAR check he increased the sanction to a red, to pile more misery onto United on an already dreadful day for the Red Devils.

United actually managed to prevent Liverpool from adding to their five goals after Pogba was sent off, although the home side clearly adopted a damage control mentality as their players rarely left their own half in the final 30 minutes.

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