Tottenham Hotspur star Heung-min Son was in tears as he was shown a red card for a tackle on Andre Gomes that resulted in a sickening injury for the Everton midfielder in Sunday’s 1-1 draw.
The South Korean had been hit by a flailing arm from Gomes just a few moments earlier and seemed eager to exact some revenge, flying into the Portuguese midfielder as he burst down the flank.
Although the initial tackle did not seem particularly bad – with Gomes continuing his run before stumbling over – his foot was caught under his body in a second tangle with Serge Aurier.
Martin Atkinson immediately showed a yellow card to Son for the tackle, but then the severity of Gomes’ injury became apparent.
His Everton teammates looked sickened and immediately called for the medical staff to run onto the pitch, with Gomes’ foot effectively at a right angle to the rest of his leg.
Son went over to apologise and caught sight of the injury, bursting into tears.
The Spurs attacker is widely regarded as one of the nicest people in football and he had to be consoled by teammates and members of staff, while Jordan Pickford and Cenk Tosun also tried to support him.
Atkinson, having consulted with VAR, then came over to Son and upgraded his yellow card to a red.
However, that decision will be widely debated in the coming hours and days and appears to have been made on the basis of the severity of the injury, rather than that of the tackle.
The real damage appeared to be done when Aurier stormed in, with Gomes’ leg getting stuck under his body.
Spurs had taken the lead when Son pounced on a stray pass and played in Dele Alli, who breezed past the Everton defence and slotted home, but Everton equalised against their 10-man opponents during the 12 minutes of added time when sub Tosun headed in Lucas Digne’s cross.