Liverpool goalkeeper Kelleher escapes red card after VAR check but should he have been sent off during Cardiff City FA Cup clash?

Caoimhín Kelleher Liverpool 2021-22Getty Images

Liverpool goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher escaped a red card following a VAR check after charging out of his area and fouling Cardiff City forward Mark Harris during Sunday's FA Cup tie.

Referee Andrew Madley deemed the foul only worthy of a yellow card, with VAR agreeing with his decision and ruling that a clear and obvious error wasn't made.

There were, however, many that felt Kelleher should have seen the caution upgraded to a red card, with the Reds perhaps being fortunate not to have been left with 10 men.

Watch Kelleher VAR incident (UK only)

What happened?

Liverpool were being held 0-0 by Cardiff when the crucial moment occurred in what could have been a game-changing scenario had the Reds' goalkeeper been sent off.

The Championship side were doing well to thwart Jurgen Klopp's men and, early on in the second half, had a chance on the counterattack as Harris raced through.

He was then hacked down by Kelleher, who was attempting to sweep up behind his defence, with replays showing that his studs made contact with his opponent's right leg.

A yellow card was subsequently shown by referee Madley, with VAR checking the incident but deciding that a red card was not required.

Indeed, Ibrahima Konate's position saved Kelleher, with the centre-back chasing back as the two players collided.

The view from Anfield | Liverpool correspondent Neil Jones

"Caoimhin Kelleher feared the worst, and he wasn’t alone.

"'I think he could be gone here,' tweeted Robbie Fowler, the Liverpool legend. His view will have been shared by plenty inside Anfield. He survived, just.

"Ibrahima Konate’s presence on the cover saved the Reds keeper, but his tackle on Mark Harris looked worse with each viewing.

"A rush of blood, and one which could have cost his side dear on a tricky afternoon. Cardiff will feel aggrieved, as they did in the first half when Konate bundled into Harris in the penalty area. Liverpool rode their luck then, and they did so again with Kelleher."

Further reading