Cesar Azpilicueta insists Sadio Mane should have been sent-off for early elbow 7 months ago

Cesar Azpilicueta insists Sadio Mane should have been sent-off for early elbow

'It's a clear red, I don't mind if it's five seconds into the game or if it's the first action, it's a clear red.'

Cesar Azpilicueta has stated that Sadio Mane should have been sent off after the Liverpool forward received an early booking for elbowing the Chelsea defender in the face.

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Mane jumped to head the ball when it was kicked long straight from kick-off, but he elbowed Azpilicueta as the pair competed for the ball.

The incident occurred just six seconds into the match, but the Spaniard and Chelsea players were calling for referee Anthony Taylor to send the Senegalese international off.

However, Taylor opted to show Mane a yellow card - with Liverpool's No 1o eventually opening the scoring in the ninth minute.

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The away side doubled their lead in the 26th minute when Mohamed Salah calmly slotted past Edouard Mendy after a spectacular pass from Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Chelsea pulled a goal back in the 42nd minute when Mateo Kovačić scored a wonderful volley, before Christian Pulisic made it 2-2 when he smashed his strike past Caoimhin Kelleher.

Many people questioned why Mane had not been sent off, with Azpilicueta adamant that the Reds man should have been shown a red card, rather than yellow one.

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Speaking to Sky Sports after the game, he said: "It's a clear red, I don't mind if it's five seconds into the game or if it's the first action, it's a clear red.

"He doesn't want to challenge, he doesn't see the ball, he just wants to hit with the elbow.

"I don't understand, we have had these kind of decisions the other day, two penalties that VAR didn't come.

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"Today, the first action is a clear red card and of course, we are getting these decisions against us that could change a lot in the game."

He added: "Sometimes we have seen a joke of penalties, sometimes we see real dangerous actions and we don't take action.

"We don't see the same consistency in the same game, or through the season."

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With Liverpool and Chelsea drawing 2-2, league-leaders Manchester City now have a 10-point lead over Chelsea in second position, and an 11-point lead over Liverpool in third.

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