Liverpool left relieved as double disciplinary boost confirmed for Man United and Arsenal

With referee Andy Madley feeling trigger-happy with cards during Liverpool’s win over Crystal Palace, the Reds will be relieved that two players in particular avoided having their names taken.

Jurgen Klopp’s side ran out 2-1 victors against the 10-man Eagles thanks to late goals from Mohamed Salah and Harvey Elliott, with the result taking them top of the Premier League table.

Joe Gomez and Luis Diaz were the only Reds players to be shown yellow cards by Madley, though Virgil van Dijk would see his own caution overturned for conceding a penalty by fouling Odsonne Edouard after a VAR review called the attack back for a Will Hughes foul on Wataru Endo.

In contrast, Palace would be issued eight cards, including manager Roy Hodgson, with Jordan Ayew being shown his marching orders for a second bookable offence. Joel Ward, Joachim Andersen, Chris Richards, Jefferson Lerma, and Naouirou Ahamada would also all be shown yellow cards, with the Eagles being issued with an automatic £25,000 fine for ill-discipline from the FA as a result. Unsurprisingly, Hodgson was not best pleased after the final whistle.

Ayew must now serve a one-match ban following his dismissal, while Ward, having now been shown four yellow cards so far this season, is one more away from being issued with an automatic one-match ban. Fortunately, as we head towards the frantic festive period, Liverpool continued to avoid any such disciplinary tight-ropes.

Players are automatically handed a one-match ban if they pick up five bookings during a club’s first 19 games of the Premier League season. 10 yellow cards by gameweek 32 results in a two-game suspension, while players are handed a three-match ban if they are shown 15 bookings before the end of the season.

Liverpool’s win over Palace was both side’s 16th game of the season, meaning players have a further three matches to navigate to avoid collecting a fifth yellow card if they wish to avoid serving a suspension before being granted further breathing space.

Alexis Mac Allister has already served a one-match ban after being shown five yellow cards, while Trent Alexander-Arnold and Darwin Nunez are next up with three apiece.

After avoiding cautions against Crystal Palace, both players have ensured they can’t be suspended for the Reds’ back-to-back Premier League clashes with Manchester United and Arsenal unless they are shown red cards. If either are shown yellow cards in both games, they would miss Liverpool’s trip to Burnley on Boxing Day.

Meanwhile, Gomez, Endo, and Ibrahima Konate have so far been shown two yellow cards in the Premier League this season. If the trio are booked in each of the Reds’ next three matches, they will be suspended for the home clash with Newcastle United on New Year’s Day before the English top-flight’s first amnesty kicks in.

Likewise, if Alexander-Arnold or Nunez are cautioned twice from Liverpool’s next three games, they would also be suspended against the Magpies.

The Reds haven’t completely staved off the threat of imminent suspensions just yet, especially when it comes to facing Newcastle in the New Year. But Klopp will at least be relieved that his squad have successfully side-stepped the possibility of having to sit out crucial games against Manchester United and Arsenal, especially with the latter being a top-of-the-table six-pointer.


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