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Liverpool’s Mane is my brother but should have been sent off against Chelsea – Mendy

12:33 GMT+3 03/01/2022
Sadio Mane and Mendy of Chelsea and Liverpool.
The 29-year-old custodian feels his compatriot should not have stayed on the pitch after his challenge on the Blues captain at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy believes Liverpool forward Sadio Mane should have been sent off for elbowing teammate Cesar Azpilicueta on Sunday.

The 29-year-old Senegal custodian says his national team compatriot did not deserve to be on the pitch after one minute of the thrilling Premier League clash which ended 2-2 at Stamford Bridge.

Mane received a yellow card for the elbow challenge on the Blues captain as the two jumped for a high ball - a decision Chelsea players were left furious with. The Lion of Teranga then went on to open the scoring after rounding up Mendy to make it 1-0 in the ninth minute.

Egypt international Mohamed Salah then put Liverpool 2-0 up in the 26th minute, his 16th goal of the season, but Chelsea hit back with two quick goals courtesy of Mateo Kovacic’s wonder goal in the 42nd minute and Christian Pulisic just before half-time.

Asked after the game if Mane should have been sent off for the challenge, Mendy told RMC Sport as quoted by Daily Mail: “Sadio is my brother, my compatriot. But he should not have stayed on the pitch after one minute.”

The incident also left Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel and Azpilicueta fuming as they insisted the 29-year-old star should have been handed a straight red card.

“It's a clear red. I don't mind if it's five seconds into the game, it's the first action and it's a clear red,” Azpilicueta said after the full-time whistle. “He doesn't see the ball, he just wants to lead with the elbow. I honestly don't understand it.

"It was a clear red card. We're getting these decisions against us which could change the course of the game.

"We don't see consistency even within the same game, and to me, it's clear a decision like this is clear. I watched the replay, but I didn't need to. It was a clear red."

On his part, Tuchel said: “I am not a friend of early red cards. I hate to say it because I love Mane and he is a nice guy and top player, but it is a red card.

“The elbow is in the face - it doesn't matter if you do this after 20 seconds or 20 minutes.”

Mendy and Mane have already travelled to link up with Senegal in readiness for the Africa Cup of Nations that kicks off in Cameroon on January 9.

Senegal, who are camping in Thies with training sessions at the Lat Dior Stadium, are drawn in Group B with Guinea, Zimbabwe, and Malawi, and they will open their campaign against the Warriors at the Bafoussam Omnisport Stadium on January 10.