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TNT Sports commentator Ally McCoist was left perplexed after Everton defender Ashley Young was sent off for two yellow cards in Saturday’s Merseyside derby against Liverpool. Young was similarly incensed as he argued with the fourth official while leaving the pitch, having brought down Luis Diaz to receive for a second time to receive his marching orders.
In a first half that finished goalless, Toffees’ boss Sean Dyche will perhaps feel relieved that the visitors were not trailing at the break as they struggled to contain Liverpool’s forwards on the break – as Young and Amadou Onana were forced into making some stellar last-ditch defending to prevent the Anfield crowd from erupting into raptures.
But in the 37th minute, Young was sized up by Diaz on the edge of the box and attempted to get down the byline before he was chopped by the Everton right-back and left referee Craig Pawson with little doubt in his mind – though the official did take a few moments to gather his thoughts before producing the red
McCoist, however, disagreed with the decision as he said: “I think it’s harsh. Somebody will tell me that it is two yellow cards and it’ll be difficult to argue with it, but sometimes you have to show a bit of common sense.”
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Manchester United icon Rio Ferdinand was on co-commentary duties with McCoist and similarly felt that Young could feel harshly done by, having picked up an earlier yellow on Diaz.
“I don’t think the first one is a yellow,” Ferdinand said. “The second one is definitely a yellow card. Ashley (Young) to be fair to him sees the ball there and I know as a defender you don’t want anything to get past you – your ego, his pride but sometimes you have to give up the ghost at times and hope that your centre-backs cover you in the next phase.”
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Though later Ferdinand admitted that both cautions were yellow card offences as he felt that Young should have “chilled out” and allowed Diaz to get past him and keep all 11 men on the pitch.
That came after former Liverpool striker Peter Crouch felt that a second yellow was the correct decision. “You can see with the first one, he leaves a leg in and he knows exactly what he is doing,” he said.
“The second one is also a yellow card for me. It’s right in front of the Everton fans and he has to be cuter for me there. He has got to go for that challenge and it was the right decision.”
Everton made two half-time substitutions to combat the red card, as Michael Keane and Nathan Patterson came on for Jack Harrison and Dwight McNeil.
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