Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti believes the scrutiny over the injury sustained by Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk against his team last weekend played a part in Lucas Digne’s red card at Southampton.
The France left-back was shown a straight red card for treading on Kyle Walker-Peters, a week on from the Merseyside derby where Van Dijk was injured by goalkeeper Jordan Pickford and forward Richarlison was dismissed.
“The red card was a joke,” Ancelotti told BBC Sport.
“Maybe the fact that there was a lot of talk all week about Pickford and Richarlison against Liverpool affected the decision.
“We will appeal, to lose a player like Digne for three games like this is not fair.”
Van Dijk, 29, sustained cruciate ligament damage after a challenge by Toffees goalkeeper Pickford in the 2-2 draw on 17 October.
Ancelotti said in the week that Pickford is “really sad” the Dutchman is injured, but denied the tackle was premeditated.
Pickford faced no further action for the challenge as the Football Association determined the incident was seen at the time having consulted with the match officials, including the video assistant referee.
Richarlison was sent off against Liverpool for a challenge on midfielder Thiago Alcantara.
Ancelotti was asked after the 2-0 defeat at St Mary’s whether he thought referee Kevin Friend was influenced by the events at Goodison Park last week when showing Digne a red card.
“You never know,” Ancelotti said. “For sure it was not a red card.”
Digne was sent off in the 72nd minute against Southampton after chasing Walker-Peters and standing on his heel.
“He was frustrated, it’s late, it’s naughty,” said former England winger Karen Carney on BBC Radio 5 Live.
“He’s basically got his right foot and gone down the back of Walker-Peters’ ankle and for me that is a red card.
“I don’t think he meant it but it was dangerous and that could have caused issues. It’s the right decision.”
First-half goals from James Ward-Prowse and Che Adams were enough to condemn Everton to a first league defeat of the season, but they stay top of the Premier League on goal difference.
“To keep winning is impossible, there is not one team in football who wins every game, sometimes you have to lose and the reaction is important,” said Ancelotti.
“We are still at the top of the league and nobody expected this. This defeat won’t change our spirit.
“It was not a good performance. We have been used to winning but this doesn’t mean all the good things we have done in the first part of the season are forgotten, and we will do well again.”