Fabinho was incredibly lucky to avoid a red card at Brighton, but the PGMOL have accepted that the wrong decision was made and the midfielder should have been given his marching orders.
It was a cameo to forget for Fabinho at the AMEX after being introduced in the 84th minute, with the Brazilian a second too slow on the ball and off it.
A studs-up tackle on Brighton striker Evan Ferguson followed, who had to be helped off the field, and Fabinho and everyone watching expected a red card to be shown by referee David Coote.
The No. 3’s reaction spoke volumes but he was only shown a yellow card and there was no invitation from VAR to review and subsequently upgrade the decision.
However, on Monday night the BBC reported that the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) have accepted that Fabinho should have been sent off.
“As part of a drive for transparency within PGMOL, the organisation has privately let it be known there was enough evidence to warrant a red card,” the report states.
While the force of the challenge was “of low intensity” there was contact “above the ankle from behind” and this type of challenge is viewed as one that invites a red card.
Brighton are still assessing Ferguson’s injury and after the incident, Brighton manager Roberto De Zerbi said, “I think Fabinho is a quality player. It can happen on the pitch, these accidents.”
As for Jurgen Klopp‘s view on the challenge, the Liverpool manager said: “The Fabinho challenge, there’s no dynamic [movement] in it, but I just saw it once, not the second time.
“I think with dynamic, we can talk about the red card. But he was more lying [down] and then he hit him. It’s not cool.”
Fabinho may have escaped punishment from the officials but he has an uphill battle to reclaim his spot in Liverpool’s midfield – he’s started from the bench in the last three matches.