Cristiano Ronaldo was lucky to stay on the pitch after kicking out at Liverpool midfielder Curtis Jones, former Premier League referee Mark Halsey has said.
The 36-year-old started the encounter with Liverpool but endured quite the comedown from that euphoric evening against Atalanta just days prior.
Liverpool were in third gear for 90 minutes but still managed to comfortably unpick Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s tame side, with five goals ending up being the difference between the two teams.
Ronaldo did, however, manage to create headlines nonetheless. The former Juventus and Real Madrid striker was shown a yellow card in the first half after kicking out at Jones, a decision that has now been questioned.
“The first big talking point was Cristiano Ronaldo’s challenge on Curtis Jones – the ball was on the floor and very close to Curtis Jones. Is he kicking the ball into the player? You can see he’s kicking it very hard and some would argue he was lucky not to be shown a red card. Had he been shown a red card for violent conduct, it wouldn’t be too surprising,” Halsey told CaughtOffside.
“You take the ball away in that situation and it’s violent conduct. VAR looked at it and didn’t get involved because it’s subjective. Had Ronaldo been sent off I don’t think too many people would’ve complained, but Anthony Taylor saw it as a yellow card for adopting an aggressive attitude and VAR didn’t intervene.”
Ronaldo will be glad to have avoided the marching orders – a sending off would have seen him miss United’s next three games in the Premier League, which includes a trip to Manchester City.