How Cristiano Ronaldo escaped red card in Liverpool loss: Klopp, Twitter react to violent kick

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Manchester United was humiliated on its home turf by rival Liverpool in Matchday 9 of the Premier League and its big star, Cristiano Ronaldo, didn’t like it one bit. He was not shy about showing his frustration either.

Just before halftime with the score at 3-0, Liverpool, Ronaldo was involved in a play that probably should have seen him sent off. Liverpool midfielder Curtis Jones successfully shielded a ball near the end line and then went down to the ground. While Jones was down, the referee’s whistle sounded indicating a foul by Ronaldo.

But simultaneously to the whistle, Ronaldo went in for a violent kick while the ball was tucked into Jones’s midsection. Ronaldo made contact with the ball, but the impact was also felt by a helpless and defenseless Jones.

With many watching at home expecting to see a red card, referee Anthony Taylor instead showed Ronaldo a yellow card after other Liverpool players confronted Ronaldo in the aftermath of the incident. Jones also stood up immediately to take issue with the 36-year-old Portugal international, who went 90 minutes but only came up with one shot on target. Ronaldo also had a goal disallowed for offside.

MORE: Liverpool thrashes Manchester United 5-0 at Old Trafford

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was asked about the incident after the match. Surprisingly, he wasn’t advocating for Ronaldo to be disciplined.

“For me it looked like [a red card], but in the end I got told that [Ronaldo] hits the ball or didn’t hear the whistle or whatever,” Klopp said. “That’s fine. I don’t want Cristiano to get a red card. For me it looked like, but I got told that it was not. That’s fine.”

Ronaldo doesn’t exactly have a pristine track record in the red card department. He has seen his fair share of red in his 20-year professional career. According to Transfermarkt, he has been the subject of 11 sendings-off, including seven straight red cards and four for a second yellow card.

Even former Manchester United defender Gary Neville thought Ronaldo was set to receive a red card. Neville was quoted as saying “his head’s gone here” during his commentary of the game for Sky Sports.

MORE: Manchester United’s 2021-22 match schedule

Could Ronaldo make the claim that he didn’t hear the whistle in this case? Given that the whistle and his kick occur virtually simultaneously, he might have a case. But the violence with which he attempted to gain possession of the ball — shooting it into the player’s midsection — doesn’t give him the benefit of the doubt with some of the media and fans who reacted to it on social media:

Manchester United’s frustrations would boil over once again in the second half with the score at 5-0 when Paul Pogba made a two-footed lunge into Liverpool’s Naby Keita that earned him a straight red card after the referee consulted with the monitor.



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