Peter Walton gives verdict on controversial Liverpool vs Inter Milan incident

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Alexis Sanchez was sent off as Liverpool moved into the Champions League quarter-finals by defeating Inter Milan 2-1 on aggregate.

Peter Walton felt Alexis Sanchez fully deserved his marching orders as Liverpool advanced into the Champions League quarter-finals against Inter Milan.

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Background

Jurgen Klopp’s side took a two-goal lead into the second leg at Anfield last night, having won 2-0 at the San Siro in February.

Liverpool were nowhere near their best and Inter gave themselves a huge lifeline when Lautaro Martínez fizzed an effort into the top corner in the 62nd minute.

But just a minute later, the Nerazzurri surrendered all hopes of a comeback when Sanchez received a second yellow card for a foul on Fabinho.

In the BT Sport studio after the game, pundits Rio Ferdinand and Fara Williams felt Sanchez was unlucky to have been sent off.

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What’s been said

But former Premier League referee Walton felt that official Antonio Matheu Lahoz made the correct call.

“The referee can't see what is in the player's mind,” said Walton to BT Sport.

“The law is quite specific. The foul is for a reckless challenge and in law, reckless means in regards to the consequence of the dangers to an opponent.

Alexis Sanchez leaves his pitch after being sent off for Inter Milan against Liverpool. Picture: PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty ImagesAlexis Sanchez leaves his pitch after being sent off for Inter Milan against Liverpool. Picture: PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images
Alexis Sanchez leaves his pitch after being sent off for Inter Milan against Liverpool. Picture: PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images | AFP via Getty Images

“Yes, it's the modern side of refereeing but he's dived in and he hasn't taken sufficient action to avoid contact with his opponent.

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“Therefore, in the referee's eyes - and I agree with the referee - it's a reckless challenge. Reckless defines a yellow card.

“When you slow it down and look at it in slow motion, you can make a case for both sides.

“But you've got to think that the referee is on the field of play. He's seen that in real time, he's seen the challenge going in and the actions of the player in terms of the follow through.

“The follow through has caught the Liverpool player, he's seen it as a reckless challenge and given it.

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“The player himself is probably a little bit silly making such a challenge.

“The referee's prime concern is the safety of the players. As a consequence, it's why the law is framed for that fact.

“As a player, they might say it's a fine challenge but in a referee's eyes, he's got to make sure nothing is happening on that field that could harm or injure a player.

“The law is quite specific. A reckless challenge is when you have no action to defend the dangers against an opponent.”

Liverpool will find out their quarter-final opponents when the draw takes place on Friday 18 March.

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