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Fans think Sadio Mane should have been sent off just six seconds into Liverpool's visit to Stamford Bridge.
Straight from kick-off, Liverpool launched the ball forward down the left and Mane led with his elbow in challenging Chelsea skipper Cesar Azpilicueta in the air.
Yes, that should be a red card for Sadio Mane for a deliberate elbow to the face of Cesar Azpilicueta pic.twitter.com/zMozjfonaH— Has the Referee or VAR made a poor decision? (@PoorEPLreferees) January 2, 2022
The Spaniard ended up on the turf clutching his face in agony, with Anthony Taylor quickly brandishing a yellow card.
Sadio Mane received a yellow card in the first 15 seconds of the match 😳 pic.twitter.com/NGvWr19dVA— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) January 2, 2022
Is Sadio Mane lucky not to have received an early red card? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/7BmDWDGr6a— SPORTbible (@sportbible) January 2, 2022
There was no official VAR check, despite replays on Sky Sports showing that Mane's challenge was a dangerous one.
But fans, in particular those supporting Chelsea, could not believe how Mane was not giving his marching orders and reckon he got lucky because of how early on it was.
Mane red card 1 minute in 😂— Evertonian. (@TheEvertonian78) January 2, 2022
That should be a red card already for Mane.— Mod (@CFCMod_) January 2, 2022
That’s a red card wow. Sadio mane knew was he was doing!— SaeedTV (@SaeedTV_) January 2, 2022
That challenge from Mane was a red card, Taylor at it again— Bla Yaw✝🇬🇭 (@obrempong__) January 2, 2022
Mane always escapes a possible red card then bags he’s so inevitable😭— ً JJ™️ (@afcjeedz) January 2, 2022
Mane elbows Azpilicueta within the first 30 seconds.— Lea (@Lea_EFC) January 2, 2022
Red card everyday of the week.
VAR - Blind pic.twitter.com/eMQdzeZ0Ia
The Red Card curse kicks in. Mane could have gotten a Red Card. And Mane was the one who scored. Chelsea fans must be livid. #CHELIV— Beewol (@beewol) January 2, 2022
Frankly if that elbow was from any defender it’s a red card, not sure how Mane got away with that to be honest. Clear intent too 😬— kate 👩💻 (@xkatehewitt) January 2, 2022
Nah man mane would’ve got a red card if that was later in the game😭😭😭— Theo (@theomckenzie08) January 2, 2022
of course Mane scores the opener minutes after not seeing the most obvious red card of all time..the bottom one league is at it again!— رشاد (@RashJuniorr) January 2, 2022
To make matters worse, the Senegalese forward put Liverpool ahead in the ninth minute after capitalising on an error from Trevoh Chalobah and making no mistake when gifted the chance.
Had Mane been sent off, it would have been the quickest red card in Premier League history by a long way.
Currently the record is held by former Blackburn Rovers goalkeeper Tim Flowers, who was sent for a very early bath after 72 seconds against Leeds United back in 1995.
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel was absolutely livid with the decision to only caution Mane, venting at the fourth official early on.
Thomas Tuchel is fuming. He just shouted at the 4th referee again that Sadio Mané should have got sent off for his elbow on Azpilicueta!— Julien Laurens (@LaurensJulien) January 2, 2022
For Mane, this is his last game for Liverpool for around a month due to his participation in the Africa Cup of Nations.
The same applies to Mo Salah, scorer of Liverpool's second against Chelsea, as he represents Egypt in the tournament hosted by Cameroon.
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