By George Overhill

24th Feb, 2022 | 8:10am

Tim Sherwood and Harry Kewell disagree over Leeds United red card for Luke Ayling

Luke Ayling should have been sent off for the challenge that gave away the second penalty for Liverpool against Leeds United, according to Tim Sherwood.

The stand-in captain was booked when he brought down Sadio Mane for a spot kick to the home side, which Mohamed Salah converted to put them 3-0 up, which Harry Kewell believed was the right decision.

There was debate over whether a genuine attempt to play the ball or the fact the ball had run away from the Senegalese attacker was the reason for the level of punishment, as the Whites defender did not appear to have made a genuine tackle.

Speaking at half time on the Supersport broadcast of the match, former Tottenham manager Sherwood said: “For me, absolutely no attempt to play the ball, should be a red card… he’s not trying to play the ball, he’s not even trying to play the man.

“But he does play the man, he gets a yellow card… I think he gets away with a red.”

Former Whites and Reds winger, Kewell responded: “I have to disagree there because I think Mane does the right thing… he comes across Ayling.

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“Look, Ayling knows he’s lost there, and he comes across with the trailing leg. Mane just needs to feel something to go down.

“I would have felt it a bit harsh if it was a red card. Definite penalty.”

Small mercy

The fact that the United defender was not sent off was just about the only thing that went the visitors’ way at Anfield.

After being unlucky not to receive a penalty of their own when Dan James clashed with Alisson, the Whites conceded three times in either half and conceded two penalties.

Fans probably did not expect to get anything from a visit to the form side at the top of the league, but the 6-0 hammering will have had a terrible effect on morale.

The depleted squad looked thoroughly warn down as they were given the run-around by Jurgen Klopp’s men.

Marcelo Bielsa has a major job on his hands to get his players up for the challenge of Tottenham next, and for the run-in thereafter.

After such an energy-sapping display in the loss to Manchester United, tonight’s outing showed a side that looked like they had given it everything in that game and didn’t believe they stood a chance here.

It would have been harsh for Michael Oliver to have shown Ayling a red in the first half although he probably could have done based purely on the rules.

It is a relief to everyone at Elland Road that he didn’t otherwise they could have been facing a record defeat.

In other Leeds United news, the player ratings from the game don’t make comfortable reading.