Steven Gerrard’s former Liverpool team-mate Jamie Carragher described the red card as a “moment of madness” borne out of frustration.
He said on Sky Sports One: “There’s no doubt that not playing at Swansea (in Liverpool’s last game) and then not playing this game would be a frustration.
“He’s been at Liverpool 17, 18 years, he’s always been the man, the captain, there’s never been a case where he’s been out of the team and as soon as he’s fit he goes straight back in the team.
“This is the first time I think, last week at Swansea and today, that hasn’t happened, so there’ll be frustration there.
“Watching the first half from the bench he’d have been disappointed, Liverpool weren’t playing well, they were losing 1-0.
“But there would have been more frustration. I think he’d have been watching players in his position performing not great and thinking, ‘Why am I not playing, why am I not on that pitch?’
“We said at half-time that was the right call, bring him on.
“Steven Gerrard is an emotional player. You see that in his career and it’s taken teams I’ve played in into some unbelievable moments.
“Sometimes he hasn’t played with his brain in terms of when he’s done well, it’s been his heart – the (FA) Cup final against West Ham, Istanbul (the Champions League final). That wasn’t Steven Gerrard playing with a cold, calculated head, that was just playing from the heart. He can do special things like that.
“But on the flip side of that, when he plays in games like this and he comes on maybe a bit frustrated – he’s had seven red cards in his career, four of them have been Everton and Manchester United, two each now. An Everton one was coming off the bench, an Everton one was 15, 20 minutes into a game. I think the United other one was an FA Cup game in the first half and if I think right they were all straight reds.
“There’s no doubt being a local player, the emotion of these occasions, the frustration coming into this game, has contributed to the moment of madness.”
He added: “It’s a straight red there’s no arguments with that.
“You can’t do that on a football pitch, he’s been rightly given his marching orders.”
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers felt Gerrard could have been frustrated by his side’s first-half show and acted accordingly.
“Steven gave an apology to the players and himself, it was probably frustration, he’s an honest guy, very competitive and probably frustrated at the first half watching us,” he told Sky Sports.
“He’s come on and unfortunately got sent off.” Asked if he accepted his captain’s apology,
Rodgers said: “Yeah, he knows as well as anyone it’s difficult to play big games with 10 men. He’s a wonderful character.”