Jay Spearing was Kenny Dalglish’s first choice to replace injured midfielder Lucas in the Liverpool starting lineup. But the diminuitive Spearing faces a three-game ban after he was dismissed in the second half of Liverpoo’s 1-0 loss at Fulham on Monday.
Spearing received his marching orders after going in hard on a 50-50 ball with Mousa Dembele and upending the Belgian attacker with a two-footed tackle. Referee Kevin Friend showed Spearing a straight red card, reducing Liverpool to 10 men.
The 23-year-old was impressing in his first English Premier League start of the season. He was growing in influence as the game progressed, breaking up Fulham’s attacks and neatly passing the ball to teammates with great effect.
Fulham would go on to snatch a victory from Liverpool. The Reds will leave Craven Cottage with serious gripes about Friend’s performance.
To give Spearing a red card on the tackle was, at best, a contentious decision. The Reds will also note two penalty appeals that were denied. Luis Suarez and Charlie Adam were fouled in and around the Fulham penalty area on seperate occasions, but friend did not point to the spot in either case. Suarez also had goal disallowed in the second half because he was judged to be offside. Replays showed he was even with the last defender.
Review all the action from Monday’s game — as it happened — in our Liverpool Live Blog.