Harvey Elliott makes red card claim and responds to Pascal Struijk apology

By Stephen Killen

Harvey Elliott has defended Leeds United defender Pascal Struijk following the Dutchman's tackle which left the 18-year-old with a serious ankle injury.

The 22-year-old was shown a straight red card for his lunge and as a result, Elliott had to be stretchered off, but he has played down the idea of any malicious intent from Struijk saying it was a "freak accident".

It was midway through the second half when the Dutch substitute, replacing the injured Diego Llorente in the first half, lunged to retrieve the ball with the Liverpool midfielder which caused the injury.

READ MORE: Harvey Elliott posts emotional message after Liverpool youngster suffers major injury

He suffered a dislocated left ankle and spent hours in Leeds General Infirmary Hospital before he was discharged and now awaits surgery.

Elliott responded to Struijk's apology and believes the Leeds defender should not have been sent off.

"Wasn’t his fault whatsoever! Neither was it a red card, just a freak accident, but these things happen in football. I’ll be back stronger 100%. Thanks for all the support," Elliott commented.

Jurgen Klopp was seen speaking to referee Craig Pawson while Elliott received treatment on the field before the official issued the red card to Stuijk.

Former referee Dermot Gallagher agreed with the decision to present a red card.

He told Sky Sports: "You could see how serious the injury was because there were no replays shown, I had to look at a feed from elsewhere to see the tackle again. You see what happens, the way the player reacted - you knew how serious it was.

"The red card was an on-field decision, although the free-kick wasn't initially given. The fourth official was close by and he would have fed in, and that's a great thing about the earpiece right now. The referees are connected up. The input from all was, 'We feel this is a red card', and a red card was given."

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