talkSPORT pundit says it 'doesn't matter' if referee got Pascal Struijk red card wrong following Harvey Elliott horror injury

Danny Murphy has shared his thoughts on Pascal Struijk’s red card during Leeds United’s clash with Liverpool at the weekend.

Monday, 13th September 2021, 1:42 pm
LEEDS, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 12: Pascal Struijk of Leeds United is consoled by Liam Cooper of Leeds United after being shown a red card for a challenge on Harvey Elliott of Liverpool (not pictured) during the Premier League match between Leeds United and Liverpool at Elland Road on September 12, 2021 in Leeds, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

The former Liverpool midfielder told talkSPORT that it ‘doesn’t matter’ if the referee got the decision to send Pascal Struijk off wrong as it has resulted in such a lengthy time on the sidelines for Harvey Elliott.

The Leeds United defender was shown a red card on the hour mark after a tackle left 18-year-old Elliott to be stretchered off the pitch, however Craig Pawson’s decision to dismiss Struijk has been heavily criticised.

"Referees for years when I played always looked at the player injured then do the punishment and so many times I have seen the punishment be because of the impact of the injury not necessarily the malice of the tackle,” Murphy said.

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Liverpool's English striker Harvey Elliott (L) suffers a serious leg injury following a tackle by Leeds United's Dutch defender Pascal Struijk (not seen) during the English Premier League football match between Leeds United and Liverpool at Elland Road in Leeds, northern England on September 12, 2021.

“It doesn't really matter that he got it wrong... it does for Leeds on the day because they had a man sent off but it will probably get rescinded and even if it doesn't he will only miss a couple of games compared to what Harvey Elliott will miss."

The former Blackburn Rovers loanee could be out of action for around six months after dislocating his ankle during the weekend's match, however Everton's Andre Gomes suffered a similar injury in 2019 and made a return 112 days later.

Struijk will be banned for Leeds United’s next three matches if the Whites are unsuccessful in their appeal – fixtures against Newcastle United, Fulham and West Ham.

Murphy said: If Strujik faces a ban of two or three games then so what? The lad (Elliott) is out for six or seven months.

Leeds United's Dutch defender Pascal Struijk (2nd R) looks on as Liverpool's English striker Harvey Elliott is treated for a serious leg injury following a tackle during the English Premier League football match between Leeds United and Liverpool at Elland Road in Leeds, northern England on September 12, 2021.

“Strujik is going to feel like crap anyway and I don't think I've ever known many players who, when they have caused someone bad damage with a tackle, would want to stay on the pitch anyway.”

Following the game Elliott posted a selfie from an ambulance on his social media and wrote: “Thank you for the messages guys! Road to recovery. YNWA.”

Struijk also took to his Instagram account to send a heartfelt apology to the midfielder, sharing a message to his Instagram story saying how he was ‘gutted’ and ‘never meant for this to happen’.

The 22-year-old added: “I wish you a speedy recovery and hope to see you back on the pitch soon”.

The Whites found themselves 2-0 down at Elland Road as Struijk was sent off before Sadio Mane added a third in extra-time for the visitors.