A well worn statistic that is trotted out ahead of every Merseyside derby is the fact that there have been more red cards in this fixture than any other Premier League clash.
The fixture duly obliged on Saturday lunchtime as the metamorphosis from the “friendly derby” to footballing war was confirmed with at least four X-rated challenges and two red cards.
Jamie Carragher struck the first blow within the opening seconds with a full-blooded challenge on Steven Pienaar – the tone had clearly been set. Pienaar himself got into the action with a nasty lunge that scraped down Javier Mascherano’s shins. Only a yellow was produced by referee Martin Atkinson, with Pienaar’s favourable reputation in the disciplinary stakes perhaps saving him.
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