A week ago in the Merseyside derby Richarlison was dismissed for an awful tackle on Thiago Alcantara, while goalkeeper Jordan Pickford escaped sanction for his high challenge on Virgil van Dijk which saw the defender ruled out for the season.
In the days which followed there were plenty of headlines and opinions about the aggressive approach of the Everton players, with some feeling Pickford’s rash approach should have similarly resulted in a ban - and Ancelotti suggested the midweek comments may have swayed the referee’s decision to award a “joke” red card for Digne’s tackle.
The left-back hacked out at Kyle Walker-Peters initially, but when the Southampton right-back continued his run, Digne chased back and brought his opponent down a second time with his studs running down Walker-Peters’ heel and ankle.
“I think it was a joke, the red card, because it was not intentional,” he said to Sky Sports at full-time.
"Maybe it was a yellow but for sure it was not violent conduct. They could check better.
"Maybe all the rumours all week against Pickford, against Richarlison, affected the decision. If it is like this it’s not right, it’s not fair. We are going to appeal for sure.”
Everton’s unbeaten start to the season came to an abrupt end at St. Mary’s, as they were beaten 2-0 by Saints.
James Ward-Prowse and Che Adams scored the goals, with Everton drawing a blank at the other end as Gylfi Sigurdsson’s long-range effect against the crossbar was the closest they came to scoring.
Ancelotti’s team remain top of the fledgling table on goal difference, ahead of local rivals and reigning champions Liverpool.
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