Football

Joris Gnagnon apologises for ‘heinous’ tackle on Yasser Larouci

Sevilla's Joris Gnagnon has apologised for his "heinous" tackle on Liverpool youngster Yasser Larouci, which led to the Sevilla defender being sent off during a pre-season friendly in Boston.

Gnagnon, 22, launched a wild challenge on the 18-year-old midfielder, which launched him into the air and led him to being carried off on a stretcher during Liverpool's 2-1 defeat at Fenway Park yesterday morning (Singapore time).

"I would like to publicly apologise to Liverpool, the family of the player and their supporters," Gnagnon posted on Twitter.

"It was a heinous act on my part. Whatever the reason, it's not what should be seen on a football pitch.

"All my prayers are with the player and his family."

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp was watching his words in post-match interviews, but confirmed Larouci was "lucky" to have avoided a serious injury.

"It is much too early in the season to create headlines by saying the things I think about the situation," the German told reporters.

"Of course, how it always is with these things, we have to wait a little bit.

"He hit him full throttle and, in that moment, (if it was) a little bit different position where he hit him, then it's done.

"He rolls... he is a sports boy so that was OK, nothing happened there."

Reds utility man James Milner was more blunt about the challenge, saying: "Was it too much? I thought so yes, it was a disgraceful tackle."

Sevilla boss Julen Lopetegui spoke to Klopp after the match to check on Larouci and admitted Gnagnon knew he made a mistake.

"I was worried about the player, but I asked Juergen and he said he's OK," the former Real Madrid coach said.

"Gnagnon was very worried. He knows it was a bad tackle, a bad decision.

"The most important thing is for Larouci to be OK." - REUTERS

Football