Gary Neville baffled as ‘mirror image’ to Pascal Struijk tackle goes unpunished

Leeds United defender Pascal Struijk’s red card is still the subject of much debate, as although Harvey Elliott suffered a terrible and unfortunate injury, many feel the red card was issued due to the result of the challenge rather than the tackle itself.

Gary Neville is one of those people and the ex-Manchester United and England defender said as much on co-commentary duties during the game itself.

Speaking on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football following Everton’s win over Burnely, the pundit railed against Josh Brownhill challenge which he felt was a ‘mirror image’ to the one which Leeds’ young centre back saw red for. However, the Burnley man was not even issued a yellow card, despite the referee seeing the incident and giving a foul.

Looking at a replay of Brownhill’s challenge on Everton’s Richarlison, Neville said: “This is an absolute mirror of the tackle on young Harvey Elliott yesterday. An absolute mirror. There is nothing different to it.”

Neville went on to highlight the inconsistency further, adding: “It’s not even a yellow card. He gives a foul. The ball’s there, it’s very much the same type of challenge. I would accept a yellow, it’s definitely not a red.

“On that type of challenge, I’m happy with no yellow but I would accept a yellow. I wouldn’t think that was a bad refereeing decision.

“That’s not a red card for me. Not a red card.”

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Meanwhile, Neville highlighted another challenge on Richarlison from Tarkowski which he felt had “no place in football” and should have been a red as, in his mind, the Burnley defender “goes to do” the Everton forward in the tackle.

Whilst he spoke strongly on the Tarkowski incident, Neville’s view that Brownhill’s challenge was a ‘mirror’ of Struijk ‘s and deserved a yellow card at the most shows the fact that it isn’t just Leeds fans who believe the Dutchman should have avoided a red card. The club may yet appeal the ruling and hope that those on the appeals panel will feel similarly to the Sky pundit.

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