James Milner labelled the Joris Gnagnon tackle that ended Yasser Larouci’s match against Sevilla early ‘disgraceful’.
The 18-year-old was carried off the pitch on a stretcher in the 80th minute of Liverpool’s 2-1 pre-season friendly defeat in Boston and manager Jurgen Klopp later said the teenager had been ‘lucky’ not to have suffered a more serious injury.
For his part, Gnagnon was shown a red card.
“Was it too much? I thought so yes, it was a disgraceful tackle,” Milner told LFCTV afterwards.
“We know it’s only a friendly, but I mean, you don’t see many red cards in friendlies, do you?”
The tackle enraged Liverpool‘s players, with several trying to confront Gnagnon, who later apologised.
“Their guy said it is down to the referee and it’s a tackle and a foul, but it’s very disappointing. We [responded] in the right way,” Milner continued.
“It is a tough one for the referee because you don’t want to use red cards in a lot in friendlies and it is a a rare thing to see.
“It’s not easy to get hold of the game, you don’t normally see too many tackles [like Gnagnon’s] but it is a disgrace really.”
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The loss was Liverpool’s second of their pre-season campaign following defeat to Borussia Dortmund and Jurgen Klopp said Larouci will be assessed by the medical department.
“It looks like he was lucky,” Klopp explained at his post-match press conference.
“Of course, how it always is with these things we have to wait a little bit.”
Asked for specifics on the injury, Klopp added: “He hit him full throttle and, in that moment, [if it was] a little bit different position where he hit him then it’s done. He rolls… he is a sports boy so that was OK, nothing happened there.
“I don’t know 100 per cent. It looks like he was lucky but I only spoke quickly to the doc and that’s what he said, but we have to see.”
Gnagnon later called his tackle ‘odious’.
“I would like to publicly apologise towards Liverpool, the family of the player and its supporters,” he posted on Twitter.
“It was an odious act on my part. Whatever the reason, it’s not what should be seen on a football pitch.
“All my prayers are with the player and his family.”
Divock Origi cancelled out Nolito’s first half-half opener two minutes before the break with a finish from close range, with Larouci leaving the pitch with the score at 1-1. However, Sevilla clinched the win in the final minute as Alejandro Pozo scored into an empty net.