Former Premier League referee Keith Hackett has revealed that Tino Livramento was close to being sent off for Southampton against Manchester City in the teams’ 0-0 draw last Saturday.
The Saints youngster was issued a yellow card for a challenge on Raheem Sterling, with Hackett believing that the 18-year-old was given the benefit of the doubt by on-field referee Jon Moss.
Hackett told Football Insider: “It’s close to a red card. There’s no question. I would go with the on-field referee because of his position.
“Moss has given the benefit of the doubt there. He’s in an excellent position to see that challenge.
“He hasn’t overreacted. The body language of the Southampton player is not good.”
Southampton fans will surely be feeling a sense of relief after reading these comments from Hackett, which suggested that Livramento could easily have been sent off on another day, with Moss erring on the side of caution instead of brandishing a red card to the teenage defender.
Losing the youngster for three games could have been a big blow for the Saints, as he has been a crucial member of the squad so far this season. He has started all five Premier League matches since his summer move from Chelsea, ousting Kyle Walker-Peters out of his natural position.
Hasenhuttl lauded Livramento as a ‘fantastic’ player earlier this season and raved about how much he has enjoyed working with him. The Southampton manager said: “Yes, I must say I’m super happy with this guy. He shows every week how strong he is and when you play against such players like these you have to be good and one against one he is.
“He never stays, he is always going and that’s what I want from him. Physically he is a good guy, a good height for a full-back, a fantastic player. But keep it calm – don’t talk too much about him!”
This shows how quickly the 18-year-old has settled in at St Mary’s, with Hasenhuttl lavishing praise on his performances. Livramento has averaged a SofaScore rating of 6.80, making two tackles and 1.8 interceptions per game from right-back.
He has been a rock in the back four and clearly caught the manager’s eye, which is why him being sent off and suspended for three games would have been frustrating for Saints supporters. In light of Hackett’s comments, they must now be feeling relieved that Moss opted against showing a red card, with Livramento available to face Wolves at the weekend.