‘He’s a nice guy and a top player, but…’: Tuchel delivers honest verdict on Liverpool star
Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

'He's a nice guy and a top player, but...': Tuchel delivers honest verdict on Liverpool star

Photo by Robin Jones/Getty Images

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel was adamant in his post-match interview that Liverpool star Sadio Mane deserved a red card in the opening moments of the game last night.

The Reds and the Blues put on an exhibition at Stamford Bridge yesterday, especially in the first half. It was a fantastic game to watch for the neutral, but Chelsea fans feel that they should’ve had a huge advantage very early in the game.

The clock hadn’t even struck 20 seconds and Mane made a challenge on Cesar Azpilicueta that infuriated everyone associated with Chelsea. The Senegal international elbowed the Blues skipper in the face, but his actions only earned him a yellow card, much to the anger of the Spaniard and Tuchel.

Here’s what the Chelsea boss said about the incident after the game last night…

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Thomas Tuchel: Sadio Mane should’ve received a red card

Tuchel saw Mane get away with his challenge and the Senegal international then opened the scoring for the Reds. That angered the Blues boss even more, who can’t understand why the Liverpool attacker wasn’t given his marching orders.

The German told Sky Sports, as quoted by the Liverpool Echo: “I hate to say it because I love Mane and he is a nice guy and a top player, but it is a red card.

“The elbow is in the face – it doesn’t matter if you do this after 20 seconds or 20 minutes.”

Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

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Tuchel definitely has a point there but Mane and Liverpool fans will argue that the Senegal international had to use his arms as leverage while jumping. That inadvertently hurt Azpilicueta, who was furious after the game as well.

Mane has to be careful going forward. This isn’t the first time he has elbowed an opponent and got away with it. There are plenty of examples over the last few years and it’s only a matter of time before referees pick up on it and punish him.

Mane will now head out for the African Cup Of Nations along with Mo Salah and Naby Keita. That could prove to be a humongous blow for Liverpool, who take on Arsenal in the semi-final of the Carabao Cup next. It will be interesting to see how the Reds will lineup without two of their star attackers.

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