Pundit gives scathing view on Sheffield Wednesday midfielder Massimo Luongo's controversial sending off in Blackburn Rovers thumping

TV pundit Kevin Phillips has criticised referee Jarred Gillett's decision to send off Massimo Luongo in Sheffield Wednesday's 5-0 home humbling to Blackburn Rovers.

Sunday, 19th January 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Sunday, 19th January 2020, 1:16 pm

Luongo was controversially dismissed in the 23rd minute after a mistimed challenge on Rovers midfielder Lewis Travis.

Speaking on Quest's EFL highlights show, Phillips agreed with Owls boss Garry Monk's assessment that referee Gillett made the wrong decision to give his Australian compatriot the red card.

Former England international Phillips said: "I agree with Garry Monk. It is not a red card for me.

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"I just think it is clumsy. It is not reckless.

"He [Luongo] took a swing at the ball and he has just missed it. He has not stamped. He has probably grazed the top of his shin. It is not a stamp.

"The ref has got that wrong."

Monk, who apologised for the Owls' dismal performance, has vowed to appeal the sending off.

Australian Referee Jarred Gillett sends off his fellow countryman Massimo Luongo against Blackurn. Pic Steve Ellis

"It’s 100 per cent not a red card," he said. "There was no intention, no malice, no aggression.

"Speaking to their players and staff, and ours, they all couldn’t believe it was a red card.

"We will be appealing that, that should be rescinded, because it’s not a red card. The referee has made a clear mistake with that."

Should Wednesday fail to get Luongo’s red card overturned, the midfielder will be suspended for their forthcoming matches against his former club Queens Park Rangers in the FA Cup, Wigan Athletic and Millwall.