Basel defender Behrang Safari insists the decision to show Liverpool’s Lazar Markovic a red card during Tuesday’s Champions League clash was the correct decision.
The Reds were trailing 1-0 at Anfield, knowing they needed two goals to progress to the last 16.
Markovic had only been introduced as a half time substitute, and the £20million summer signing was shown a straight red card for appearing to catch Safari in the face with a trailing arm.
Replays suggested the straight red card was harsh, but Safari insisted it was the correct decision and there had been contact – so much so that it made his mouth bleed.
When asked if he was caught by a Swedish newspaper, Safari responded:
‘Yes, yes of course. I was bleeding from my mouth.’
‘I wouldn’t have gone to ground if he hadn’t hit me. I am not the kind of player who dives.
‘It was a bit strange, I didn’t realise that it was a red card first.
‘I thought the referee had blown his whistle because it was a head injury and I thought I was going to give the ball to the Liverpool players afterwards.
‘But then I noticed that the Liverpool players were angry with me.’
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers disagreed with the decision to send off the former Benfica forward.
‘I thought the sending off was really disappointing decision by the referee,’ he said.
‘Lazar Markovic gets sent off for that, his fingernail barely touches the nose of the defender and the defender is the guy who should be looked at for his reaction.’