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The Everton midfielder escaped with just a booking after connecting with the Liverpool striker's knee, while Steven Gerrard admitted he initially thought a yellow was sufficient

Kevin Mirallas admits he expected to be sent off for his knee-high challenge on Luis Suarez during Everton's 3-3 draw with Liverpool.

The midfielder was only shown a yellow card after leaving his foot in on the Uruguayan as Everton battled back from 2-1 down to lead the derby before Daniel Sturridge netted an 89th-minute equaliser.

Rodgers blasted the tackle after the game, suggesting the punishment could have been different had Suarez been the guilty party, and Mirallas says he would not have been surprised if he was dismissed.

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"Sometimes when you put a tackle in you think 'oh s***', - like this one," he told reporters. "When I made the challenge the first thing I thought was that it was going to be a red card.

"I was genuinely going for the ball but I know I caught him on the knee and I said sorry straight away.

"I might have been okay because it was the derby, because in those matches there is always a lot of contact, a lot of tackles going in. There is a lot of pressure on the players and the fans in these sort of games."

"I had said to Suarez soon after the kick off when we were standing close to each other 'do you remember last season, you kicked me?'.

"He laughed and said 'yes, fair enough', but that tackle was nothing to do with a year ago. And Suarez played for a long time after that with no problem, with no injury, so he was okay, and I am glad he wasn’t injured."

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard, meanwhile, is adamant the challenge deserved a red card, but sympathised with referee Phil Dowd's tough task of making an instant assessment in heated surroundings.

"To be fair to the referee when I initially saw the incident I was thinking yellow card," he said. "I was probably the same distance away from it as the referee so you have to give him the benefit of the doubt.

"Now I have seen it again though it’s a red card, everyone knows that, but it’s very difficult to say that in a split-second and at that distance. I’d rather back the referee than have a go at him."

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