MARK CLATTENBURG: Pascal Struijk's challenge wasn't a bad tackle

MARK CLATTENBURG: Pascal Struijk’s challenge on Harvey Elliott wasn’t a bad tackle — the referee didn’t even give a foul

  • Liverpool youngster Harvey Elliott suffered a gruesome ankle injury on Saturday
  • It happened following a strong challenge from Leeds defender Pascal Struijk
  • The Leeds man was shown a red card despite it being a fair challenge 

Remember the foul by Heung-min Son on Andre Gomes, for which the Tottenham Hotspur striker was sent off. Spurs appealed that red card and won. 

Leeds United are likewise bound to lodge an appeal after Pascal Struijk was dismissed for his challenge on Harvey Elliott on Sunday. 

We haven’t seen all of the replays because of the severity of the injury to Elliott. From the angle we were shown in real time, however, the challenge from Struijk didn’t look a bad one. 

 Pascal Struijk leaves the game after receiving a red card for a challenge on Harvey Elliott

Referee Craig Pawson didn’t even blow for a foul. As far as he was concerned, Struijk won the ball fairly. But VAR Darren England assessed the incident and because the injury was so bad, the officials reacted with a red for Struijk. 

It’s a tough one. Years ago when I was with UEFA, we talked in-house about the Luke Shaw double leg break and how a corner was awarded after that incident. We discussed the best way to protect players and one way is to ensure that there are consequences for tackles which lead to serious injuries. 

As far as the PGMOL are concerned, Struijk endangered Elliott. But like Tottenham with Son, Leeds may well win their appeal.

Liverpool’s Harvey Elliott (above) suffered a gruesome injury in a challenge with Pascal Struijk


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