Kyle Walker has been banned for Manchester City’s next three European matches for his sending-off against Leipzig last month, UEFA has announced.
The England right-back was shown a straight red card for a petulant foul – described as “assault” on a UEFA charge sheet – in the closing stages of City’s final Champions League group match against the German side.
The suspension, which follows a hearing of the European governing body’s control, ethics and disciplinary body, rules Walker out of both legs of their upcoming last-16 tie against Sporting Lisbon.
The 31-year-old will also miss the first leg of City’s quarter-final, should they progress that far, or their first match in European competition next season.
Walker was dismissed as frustrations got the better of him with eight minutes remaining at the RB Arena and he kicked out at Leipzig forward Andre Silva.
City went on to lose the match 2-1. There had been little riding on the game for City, who had already been assured of top spot in Group A.
Walker’s ban, however, means manager Pep Guardiola may now be counting the cost of his decision to field a strong side for what was effectively a dead rubber.
The City boss certainly seemed unimpressed with Walker’s actions at the time.
“The red card hurts us, especially for the round of 16,” Guardiola said after the game. “Kyle Walker is an important player for us and is unnecessary to lose him like this. I hope he learns from this.”
City face Sporting in the first leg of their last-16 tie in the Portuguese capital on February 15 with the return at the Etihad Stadium on March 9.
Former Liverpool defender Carragher wrote in the Daily Telegraph: “The attacks on chairman Bill Kenwright, for example, do not sit comfortably with me.
“Kenwright’s response to fans who surrounded him outside Goodison Park last weekend – insisting that there have been ‘good times’ in the last 27 years – has been met with ridicule and criticism.
“For an older generation, the definition of ‘good times’ is winning league titles and European trophies. Wake up. Given the competition, the season in which Everton finished in the top four under David Moyes was more than good. Being a regular in the top six is good.
“Kenwright sacked only one manager – Walter Smith – after giving him as long as possible to revive the team, and moved for Moyes at the right time. Moyes was the best Everton manager since Howard Kendall.
“There is a lot of rewriting of history with regards Kenwright’s only other appointment, Roberto Martínez, too.
“He won the most Premier League points in a season of any Everton manager and reached two semi-finals. It went wrong at the end, but it has been no better since.
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