Mac Allister's red card: Will Liverpool appeal and who could replace him in midfield?

The officiating on show at Anfield was far from up to scratch during Saturday's clash between Liverpool and Bournemouth.

Despite the Reds' resilient performance, coming back from a goal down to beat the Cherries 3-1, it was instead a refereeing decision that grabbed the headlines.

Alexis Mac Allister's home debut was abruptly cut short after being shown red for a mistimed but hardly reckless challenge on Ryan Christie - a decision that left fans, players and staff, both home and away, bewildered.

"In real life, it did not look like a red card," Bournemouth boss Andoni Iraola said after the final whistle, disputing Mac Allister's dismissal.

READ MORE: 5 talking points from Liverpool’s 3-1 win over Bournemouth

This sentiment was echoed by Jurgen Klopp, who hinted that Liverpool will consider appealing the sending-off, believing the Reds have already suffered enough punishment for the controversial decision.

"I think the punishment 40 minutes with 10 men it’s already punishment enough," Klopp said. "Let’s see, we have to talk to the authorities.”

As things stand, Mac Allister will be suspended for Liverpool's next three games, ruling him out of the Reds' upcoming clash at Newcastle United, the home game against Aston Villa and the trip to Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Should the ban remain in place, the Argentine's absence from three tough tests would be a major blow for Klopp's side, with Liverpool short for choice in players that can fill the 'number six' role - a position Mac Allister has taken up in recent games.

Who could replace Mac Allister?

The likely solution would see new signing Wataru Endo, who made his debut off the bench against Bournemouth, thrown into the deep end next Sunday, deputising for Mac Allister against Newcastle.

However, Klopp hasn't always been keen to thrust new players into the side before they've been properly integrated - take our new number three's predecessor, Fabinho, as a prime example, who took a couple months to become a regular fixture in the side after signing back in 2018.

Therefore, we could see Trent Alexander-Arnold step back into midfield, having started the first two games of the Premier League season back in his traditional right-back role.

Fans will be hoping this decision won't have to made, though, with many expecting the club to appeal referee Thomas Bramall's decision in the coming days.

Whether the appeal will be successful is anyone's guess, with some sceptical that the FA will admit to this particular wrongdoing.

However, given the lack of force in Mac Allister's challenge, combined with the fact that he had every right to go for the ball in what was a 50/50 challenge with Bournemouth's Christie, you have to hope that the powers that be will come to their senses and the decision will be overturned.

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