Brighton keeper Robert Sanchez clattered into Liverpool forward Luis Diaz during Saturday’s Premier League game at the American Express Community Stadium.
The incident occurred as Diaz stooped to head Liverpool into the lead after beating Sanchez to a through pass.
After Diaz made contact with the ball, Sanchez emphatically made contact with him.
Diaz was sent tumbling to the floor after Sanchez caught him just below the neck with a wild left leg.
Sanchez and Diaz later hugged it out after the Colombian had been checked over by medical staff.
There were calls for Sanchez to be shown a red card, but he was not even given a yellow by referee Mike Dean.
An initial VAR review took place but it was adjudged that Dean had not made a clear and obvious error, so the referee did not visit the pitch-side TV monitor.
Former Tottenham right-back Garth Crooks, now a pundit for BBC Sport, said: “Robert Sanchez has no right to be on a football field after that incident.
“Mike Dean, who doesn’t need any excuse to send someone off, leaves him on the pitch and I would like to know why.”
Former England defender Rio Ferdinand said on bt sport: “Anywhere else on the pitch, any other player that does that, it’s a sending off.
“It’s WWE, that. 100% a red card.”
Ex-Liverpool striker Peter Crouch, who was also on BT Sport duty, added: “If you ever want to see serious foul play, that’s it. He could have been seriously, seriously injured.”
Former Liverpool captain Jamie Carragher, who now works for Sky Sports, said that he thinks it would have been a red card had Diaz’s header not resulted in a goal.
Carragher tweeted: “I’m convinced the red card wasn’t given because it was a goal. That header goes past the post & it’s a red card.
“It’s almost like, a goal is enough.”
Former Liverpool keeper David James appeared to agree with Carragher.
But James was adamant that referee Dean was correct not to send Sanchez off under the circumstances.
I have tweeted: “Great play from Diaz, defo not a sending off for Sanchez”.
James later added: “It would have been a foul, pen and sending off, had Diaz not scored, he did.”
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp admitted he had not seen a replay of the incident when quizzed about it post-game.
But that did not prevent the German from going on to speak strongly about VAR in his response.
As quoted by the Liverpool Echo, Klopp said: “I haven’t seen it back so I don’t know if it was a red card or not.
“It’s a good example, a very good example for VAR and the issues we still have.
“The thing is that, it was a top goal and Mike Dean, how it should be on the pitch, he sees the goal and maybe thinks about a red card but knows there is VAR.
“So the linesman [doesn’t flag], not offside, goal. Now we have the problem with this phrase ‘clear and obvious’.
“That is the real problem, this phrase, because everyone has asked me today and I didn’t start the conversation, everyone has asked me if it was a red card or not.
“You know when you get these questions that most of the people think it was a red card. So you think ‘OK, it was a red card.’ Everyone thinks it, so for what reason could it not be a red card, then?
“VAR look at it and there is only one reason for it – ‘clear and obvious’.
“So we have a referee who might not look at it and make a decision because he thinks ‘why should I? There is someone with a screen who can tell me who saw it.’
“Maybe Mike thought it was not a penalty and it wasn’t a red card. It’s not ‘clear and obvious.’ You can see it like this but it happens constantly.”
Brighton boss Graham Potter said, as reported by BBC Sport: “I have not seen it back, I think it was an accident. The quality of the run and pass beat him.”
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism