Pascal Struijk’s tackle that resulted in a horror injury for Harvey Elliott did not even deserve a yellow card, according to Leeds United owner Andrea Radrizzani.
Elliott suffered what appeared to be a serious leg injury following a tackle from Struijk as he raced away on the right wing, with Mohamed Salah frantically calling for the physios to provide treatment.
The Leeds defender was shown a straight red card for the tackle in the 60th minute, while Elliott was carried off on a stretcher. The Liverpool teenager soon posted on Instagram: “Thanks for all the messages. Road to recovery. YNWA.”
Radrizzani regretted that Elliott had suffered a potentially serious injury but did not feel referee Craig Pawson made the right decision by sending Struijk off.
“Obviously, the accident, it was hard for him [Elliott] and I wish the boy a full recovery, I hope we can get that soon, but this is part of football,” Radrizzani told Sky Sports.
“To be honest if you watch the video, you’ll see that Strujik is lying with the left foot on him and it’s accidental, so it was not a premeditated tackle so I think the valuation of the tackle was wrong from the referee.
“It’s really difficult to take a red card like that and for me it wouldn’t even be a yellow, but I really feel sorry for the boy and the injury could be difficult for him.”
We’re all with you, Harvey
You’ll Never Walk Alone. pic.twitter.com/jSuhEa2zc0
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) September 12, 2021
Asked if he understood that Struijk’s tackle had endangered Elliott, Radrizzani replied: “Yes, I understand. We can’t control the kind of injury you get on the pitch, because it’s part of the game.
“But if you watch the video enough times you understand it is accidental. Strujik gets the ball, but obviously I’m sorry for him that this has happened.”
Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa was confident there was no malice in Struijk’s tackle but was upset to see Elliott hurt.
“I regret dearly what happened, I wish it did not happen. For that to happen to any player is saddening. For a young player playing at a high level even more,” Bielsa told the BBC.
“I am sure my player did not have the intention to harm him in any way. Perhaps what happened after he recovered the ball caused the injury.
“The tackle was clear but clearly the acceleration of how our player moved caused it. In no way did he intend to cause any harm to the opponent.”
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