Liverpool v Arsenal: Sadio Mane ‘lucky’ to avoid straight red card early in match

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Liverpool and Arsenal went head-to-head in the Premier League at Anfield on Monday evening.

Jurgen Klopp’s side were the pre-match favourites before kick-off, although Arsenal have improved hugely under the club’s current manager Mikel Arteta.

The Gunners arrived at Anfield with two wins - against Fulham and West Ham - from their opening two fixtures.

Liverpool also boasted a 100 per cent record at the start of the campaign thanks to victories against Leeds United and Chelsea.

Referee Craig Pawson was forced to make a big decision early in the contest on Monday night following a challenge by Sadio Mane on Kieran Tierney.

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Bracing himself for Tierney’s challenge, Mane stuck out an arm and caught Tierney flush in the face with his arm.

Arsenal’s left-back went down holding his face, while Sky Sports co-commentator Gary Neville reacted by saying: “I think he could be in a little bit of trouble”.

Only two minutes had been played at the time of the incident - did that have an influence on Pawson’s decision to show a yellow card instead of a red?

Watch the incident here…

Many football fans on social media - and not just Arsenal supporters - are surprised Mane avoided a straight red card…

Clearly, it wasn’t the smartest challenge by Mane, who could easily have been sent off.

Perhaps if the incident had happened later in the match, he would have been.

However, it was Arsenal who took a shock lead after 25 minutes when Alexandre Lacazette capitalised on some poor defending by Liverpool's defenders.

But Liverpool provided an instant response through - surprise, surprise - Mane.

The world-class forward tapped home after Mohamed Salah's shot was saved by Bernd Leno.

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