BY ANDREW McSTEEN
Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson has said that he would appeal the red card shown to Luka Milivojevic for a high tackle on Wolves’ Joao Moutinho if it were his decision.
The Serb was dismissed in the 86th minute of the Eagles’ 2-0 Premier League loss on Friday night.
It was the first time the midfielder has been sent off in a league competition since February 2016 and came in just his second league start of this season.
However, it marks his second red for the Eagles in 2020 and second through VAR referral to a pitchside monitor following his sending off against Derby in the FA Cup in January. That was also appealed by the club but was upheld by the FA.
“I haven’t spoken to anyone at the club yet but if it was up to me, I would certainly want to appeal it,” said Roy Hodgson to the South London Press after the game. “To get three games for that would be a gross injustice and it will round-off a very disappointing evening for us because we lost the game.
“To be perfectly honest, in the game, I didn’t notice it (the foul) at all. It wasn’t the sort of foul or situation again that would make you jump up and think that’s a terrible challenge and that’s a red card. The ball went away thanks to the fact Luka won the ball, it moved further forward, and I was following the ball to see how we were going to defend the next situation.
“I was very surprised when I looked up and saw that Moutinho was on the ground and the next thing the referee was heading for the monitor – in my opinion it was a fair challenge.
“People, unfortunately, do get left short on passes sometimes and passes do go astray, and someone has to step in and try and recover the situation, but as long as they’re stepping in and recovering the situation with fair tackles then I think that’s all part and parcel of the game.
“To face the prospect of losing Luka for three games for something which I really do not agree with, that’s going to make this evening a much tougher pill to swallow.”
Players on the field had a long time to wait for the decision, and even for referee Martin Atkinson to be summoned to the monitor, but the length of time standing around for a decision is of no concern for Hodgson as long as the correct result is given – which the Palace boss did not think happened this time.
“I would rather if it’s going to happen [a long wait] that it leads to the right decision,” said Hodgson.
“On this occasion, I must say, and I’ve told Martin – I’m not talking behind his back, I’m not criticising him in particular, he does what he has to do and makes decisions according to the current VAR recommendations – but I’ve got to say that he didn’t initially think that that was a foul even, let alone a red card offence.
“But it’s the slow-motion stuff when you go over to the video, which maybe encourages the referee to see something which for me wasn’t there.”
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