Mark Clattenburg defends Leeds' Pascal Struijk over Harvey Elliott tackle

By Josh O'Brien

Ex- Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg has claimed Marcelo Bielsa's Leeds side are likely to lodge an appeal against the red card given to defender Pascal Struijk for his tackle on Liverpool teenager Harvey Elliot.

The 18-year-old was challenged from behind by the Dutchman, causing Elliot to dislocate his left ankle in gruesome fashion - the injury so severe, Sky Sports opted not to show a replay of the incident in their coverage of the game.

However, in real-time, match official Craig Pawson did not deem the tackle worthy of even blowing for a foul - let alone a red card, until VAR intervened.

Pascal Struijk was sent off for his challenge on Harvey Elliott on Sunday evening (Getty Images)

Clattenburg suggests that Struijk was only sent off due to the outcome of the tackle, rather than the tackle itself - despite the subsequent injury sustained by Elliot was somewhat of a freak accident.

The ex-official explained: "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."

He went on to cite the double leg-break suffered by Luke Shaw years prior as an example of how similar incidents can be prevented, revealing: "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."

The injury clearly had a huge impact on the Liverpool players during the contest, with many of them visibly distressed as Elliot lay writhing in agony on the Elland Road turf.

Harvey Elliott applauded fans as he was stretchered off during Liverpool's win over Leeds (Getty Images)

Was it the right decision to send Pascal Struijk off? Have your say here.

Following the full-time whistle, Elliot's teammate Trent Alexander-Arnold said: "It's tough. Not many people have got their heads round it yet. But we will all be there for him on his road to recovery."

His sentiments were echoed by star centre-back Virgil van Dijk, who said: "First and foremost, all our thoughts and prayers are going to Harvey. Hopefully he recovers quickly and as good as possible from it."

The teenager was enjoying another stellar display for Klopp's side prior to the injury, his appearance sealing his place in the history books as he became the youngest midfield player to start three consecutive league games for Liverpool.


What is inkl?

Important stories

See news based on value, not advertising potential. Get the latest news from around the world.

Trusted newsrooms

We bring you reliable news from the world’s most experienced journalists in the most trusted newsrooms.

Ad-free reading

Read without interruptions, distractions or intrusions of privacy.