Everton forward Richarlison has apologised to Liverpool midfielder Thiago Alcantara for his shocking tackle in Saturday’s Merseyside derby which resulted in a red card for the Brazilian.
The Premier League champions twice went ahead at Goodison Park but were pegged back each time, while Liverpool thought they had scored the winner late on only for VAR to rule it out as the game ended 2-2.
But the match was overshadowed by two dreadful challenges; the first from Jordan Pickford on Virgil van Dijk went unpunished, while Richarlison was shown a red for his studs-up tackle on Thiago.
Now the Everton attacker has spoken out on his poor challenge and apologised to his Liverpool counterpart – having also done so in person – and says he tried to pull out at the last minute.
‘Everyone who knows my background knows that I was never a violent player,’ Richarlison wrote on his official website.
‘What happened today was a fatality from sheer over-dedication.
‘When I saw that the crash was going to happen, I picked up my foot and hit him with my knee in the pass, which was inevitable due to the speed of the play.
‘I already sent a message to him apologizing and I also do it here publicly. I hope he hasn’t been hurt and that everything is fine.
‘I also apologize to my teammates, my club and my fans for leaving them with one less at the end of the game.
‘Unfortunately, there is nothing I can do to change what happened, other than to reflect, work and move on.’
Speaking after the match, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp confirmed that Thiago had suffered an injury as a result of the challenge, despite playing on and setting up the disallowed winner, but the extent of the problem is not yet known.