By Mark Smith

8th Nov, 2021 | 12:10pm

Keith Hackett: Raphinha lucky not to be sent off in Leeds draw v Leicester

We’re delighted to welcome former Premier League referee Keith Hackett to the MOT Leeds News team. Each week, Hackett will discuss the big moments from the latest Leeds United games and deliver his verdict on whether his successors got their calls right or wrong…

Keith Hackett has insisted that Leeds United star Raphinha was lucky not to get sent off in the 1-1 draw against Leicester on Sunday.

The Brazilian scored the opening goal for the Whites and was booked for his celebration as he took his shirt off in front of the South Stand.

Hackett believes that Raphinha dived minutes before that, and missed out on a “blatant” yellow card from the officials.

Speaking exclusively to MOT Leeds News, Hackett said, “Yes. I think if the referees are not going to caution for simulation, then the result of that is players are going to continue to do it.

“It was blatant, it was really poor. Then, of course, the nonsense of taking the shirt off, that’s a mandatory yellow card.

“He’s a lucky boy.”

Blatant?

We wouldn’t describe the incident as blatant, and more of a tangle.

Raphinha knocked the ball around his man in the opening quarter of the game, and both fell to the floor trying to retrieve possession.

Whether on closer inspection it was deemed to be a dive, it is hard to tell, but the Brazilian was causing havoc down that right-hand side all afternoon.

As for the celebration, it is hard to tell a player not to do something like that – especially when they are honouring someone.

Having said that, Raphinha has done it more than once already this season and we simply can’t afford to be without him in games, we saw how badly that ended against Southampton.

In other Leeds United news, Paul Merson has dropped a huge transfer claim on one Whites star with an imminent exit on the cards