Former Premier League referee and now Sky Sports pundit Dermot Gallagher has questioned James Linington’s decision to send Gaetano Berardi off against Millwall on Saturday, while ex-Whites defender Stephen Warnock labelled the call ‘incredible’.
Gallagher served as a top-flight official for 15 years and ruled over 261 fixtures during his career, but showed just 21 red cards to the 652 cautions he issued in the Premier League (TransferMarkt).
Berardi’s sending off against Millwall at the weekend was Linington’s second of the term across all competitions, having also issued Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper Keiren Westwood with a straight red against Reading in August for a professional foul.
Linington issued 31-year-old Berardi his marching orders in the 14th minute for an alleged foul on Millwall striker Tom Bradshaw, although replays suggested there was little to no contact between the pair.
Leeds have already announced that they will be appealing Berardi’s dismissal and Gallagher has agreed with the Whites that the Swiss centre-half was wrongly shown a straight red.
“Even if it is a penalty, I don’t think it is a red card because Kalvin Phillips will cut [Bradshaw] off when he goes down,” Gallagher said, while speaking on Sky Sports’ Ref Watch on Monday morning, via quotes by the Yorkshire Evening Post.
“If he’s touched, maybe he gets a little touch, but it’s not a penalty for me and it’s certainly not a red card.”
Warnock supported Gallagher’s comments, by adding: “When you talk about the players in and around, for a red card to be brandished is just incredible.”
Berardi’s red card was the eighth of his career at Leeds and could not have come at a worse moment for the Whites, with Liam Cooper out for potentially the next five weeks with a groin injury.
If the EFL decide to uphold Linington’s decision and issue Berardi with a one-game ban, it would mean that Marcelo Bielsa is unable to call on the Swiss defender against Birmingham City after the international break, leaving Ben White as his only recognised senior centre-half (TransferMarkt).
As Gallagher and Warnock stated on Sky Sports, though, the decision to hand Leeds a double punishment for what Linington felt was a foul was beyond cause, as Phillips was in a position to cover once Bradshaw got goal side of Berardi, and could have challenged for possession had the forward not gone to ground under what appeared, at most, to be minimal contact.
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Leeds fans, do you expect the EFL to overturn Berardi’s red card? If not, who should replace the Swiss defender against Birmingham? Let us know in the comments below…
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