Stuttgart player breaks elbow in pre-season friendly after dangerous tackle from Joe Gomez
Calm down Joe, it's soceer
Liverpool sealed their first win of pre-season on Saturday afternoon, beating Stuttgart 3-0 with goals coming from Roberto Firmino, Naby Keita and Rhian Brewster.
But the moment of the game which has drawn the most attention was an overzealous challenge from Liverpool defender Joe Gomez.
As Stuttgart's Erick Thommy ran onto a pass in the left channel, Gomez came across to defend the danger. But before Thommy could even touch the ball, Gomez sent him flying into the advertising boards with an aggressive shoulder barge, breaking his elbow in the process.
The pitch had taken heavy downpour and was consequently very slick, which will have played a part in how far and how quickly Thommy slid across the ground.
VfB Stuttgart confirm Erik Thommy has suffered a fractured elbow after this push into the advertisement board by Joe Gomez pic.twitter.com/Dt1npFKHBB
— OnlyFootballClips (@OnlyFootballCl1) August 23, 2020
But the tackle has come under heavy scrutiny after a clip from the LFCTV broadcast was circulated on Twitter, with many disappointed viewers emphasising that there is little justification for dangerous tackles in pre-season, if ever.
Shoulder barges happen all the time in football matches, but in this instance, with the Stuttgart player slowing down to receive the ball and Gomez out of his view, it seems completely unnecessary challenge from Gomez, who could have attempted to win the ball without endangering his opponent.
Tackles like this happen far too often in football, with defenders hiding behind the defence of the contact being minimal, but the cynicism in them is blatant. The only way for these offences to be clamped down upon is for the rules to change and referees to start brandishing red cards.
Two recent examples that come to mind are Ashley Young shoving Angel Di Maria down Old Trafford's famously steep drop at the side of the pitch in a Champions League game last season and Mason Holgate shoving Roberto Firmino into the stands at Anfield in 2017/18. Just because it's not a two footed lunge, it doesn't mean it's not a dangerous tackle.