Bad news, Liverpool fans. Sadio Mane’s three-match ban has been upheld.
The Senegalese forward was punished for his dangerous challenge on Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson in Saturday’s 5-0 defeat at the Etihad Stadium.
Liverpool decided to appeal Mane’s ban but it was today rejected by the Premier League, and Mane won’t play another domestic game until October.
The 25-year-old can play for the Reds in tomorrow’s Champions League match against Sevilla on Wednesday but will miss Saturday’s Premier League match against Burnley and trips to Leicester City in the Carabao Cup and the league next week.
Liverpool didn’t appeal the decision to send Mane off, but felt the length of his suspension was harsh.
Mane has since apologised but an independent regulatory commission upheld his case on Tuesday.
The incident, which resulted in Ederson requiring stitches, has caused more arguments than anyone would care to count.
Gary Lineker was among the first to express his opinion, writing on Twitter seconds after the clash: “Rubbish decision to send off Mané. Rubbish.”
In Lineker’s view, the Liverpool attacker had a right to go for the ball. He would later say on Saturday’s Match of the Day: “You’ve got to go for that.”
Lineker's tweet after Mane's ban is upheld
So you’d imagine Lineker would be upset that Mane’s suspension will stand. And he is, sort of.
But the fact that it means the Senegal international will miss two matches against Lineker’s beloved Leicester has actually left the MOTD host pleased.
“Was going to say it was harsh, but missing Leicester away twice makes it justifiable,” Lineker joked on Twitter.
Fans aren't pleased with Lineker saying decision is harsh
Fans on Twitter aren't pleased with Lineker for suggesting the decision to uphold Mane's ban was harsh - before he made the Leicester joke.
One imagines Mane isn’t in any mood to joke. The incident clearly left the former Southampton player emotional, as his Instagram message to Ederson showed.
“I hope and wish Ederson a quick recovery,” he wrote. “I am so sorry he was hurt during our accidental collision on the pitch and am sorry for him that he could not complete the match because of it.
“I pray he heals fast and is back playing very soon because he is highest quality player.🙏☝️”.
Mane can expect a huge reception at Anfield tomorrow night before he faces a couple of weeks on the sideline.