Kevin Campbell, a former Everton striker, feels Sadio Mane attempted to make contact with Mason Holgate’s eye during a scuffle in the second half of Sunday’s Merseyside derby.
Everton were enraged when Liverpool refused to kick the ball out when Richarlison was injured, resulting in Abdoulaye Doucoure tripping Fabinho and receiving a booking as a result of his rage.
As tempers boiled, both sets of players were engaged, with Mane and Holgate colliding. The Liverpool winger looked to poke his finger in Holgate’s face, and Campbell believes he did it with malice in mind. At halftime, he said in the Sky Sports studio, ‘That’s a gouge, it’s gouging in the eye.’
For his part in the incident, Mane received a yellow card, and Campbell was asked if he should have received a red card instead.
‘I believe so,’ he said.
‘However, the referee failed to notice it, so let’s move on.’ This is one of those games where the stakes have been raised.’
Meanwhile, fellow pundit Graeme Souness admitted that Mane was lucky to escape a harsher punishment.
‘I believe Mane is in fortunate here. If we see that again, he’s shoved someone, or at the very least attempted to poke them.
‘He’s got his finger in Holgate’s face,’ he continued, ‘and there’s more intent than just a push.’