Everton star Richarlison has apologised for his challenge on Thiago Alcantara in Saturday’s Merseyside derby.
Richarlison was shown a straight red card in the 90th minute of the 2-2 draw at Goodison Park, having lunged in on Liverpool playmaker Thiago, who was making his first Premier League start.
His dismissal looked to have cost Everton when Jordan Henderson netted in stoppage time, only for VAR to controversially disallow the goal for offside.
In his post-match comments, Jurgen Klopp suggested the severity of the injury sustained by Thiago in the challenge was unknown, though revealed: “It looks not good.”
22 – Everton vs Liverpool has seen the most red cards in Premier League history (22), with Everton’s 15 red cards in this fixture also a record for one team against another in the competition. Feisty. #EVELIV
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 17, 2020
Richarlison, who hit the post with a header midway through the second half, has subsequently issued an apology to Thiago, though he insisted no harm was intended.
“Everyone who knows my background knows that I was never a violent player,” Richarlison wrote in a statement issued on his official website.
“What happened today was an accident from sheer over-dedication. I did not enter that dispute with the intention of hurting Thiago.
“When I saw that the collision was going to happen, I picked up my foot and hit him with my knee, which was inevitable due to the speed of the play.
“I already sent a message to him apologising and I also do it here publicly. I hope he hasn’t been hurt and that everything is fine.
“I also apologise to my team-mates, my club and my fans for leaving them with one less [player] at the end of the game. Unfortunately, there is nothing I can do to change what happened, other than to reflect, work and move on.”
Richarlison’s dismissal was the 22nd in a Premier League clash between Liverpool and Everton, who have been shown 15 red cards.
On top of a possible injury for Thiago, Liverpool also have concerns over Virgil van Dijk, who was forced off after a challenge from Jordan Pickford – who escaped punishment – early on.