Liverpool beat Everton 2-1 in a fiery FA Cup third round meeting on Friday night – and there were plenty of talking points.
Virgil van Dijk – making his debut following his £75m move – popped up to score a late winner at the Kop End to break Everton hearts.
However, much of the post-match attention turned to a controversial incident involving Roberto Firmino and Mason Holgate.
Holgate accused Firmino of calling him a “n*****” during a heated confrontation between the pair in the first half.
Referee Bobby Madley chose not to book either player.
According to an expert lip reader hired by the Mirror, Holgate mistakenly believed that Firmino called him the N-word.
“Firmino, in retaliation to the push, confronts Holgate, shouting some words at him, to which Holgate does not react.
“Holgate does not compute because Firmino is speaking in Portugese. My findings are that Firmino did not use racist language.
“Instead, he says the words, ‘Es maluco, filho da puta?’, which translates as ‘Are you crazy, you son of a b***h?’. Then Holgate, upon speaking to the referee, thinks that racist language was used and tells the referee, ‘He called me a n****r.’
“It also appears the referee has no idea what Firmino said. When pushed away by a team-mate, Holgate reiterates that he was called a n*****.”
WHAT MADLEY WROTE IN HIS MATCH REPORT
Referees in England must submit match reports to the FA after every game they take charge.
According to the Mirror, Madley included the incident in his match report but insisted that he did not hear Firmino say the N-word.
The Mirror understood that Madley made it clear that he would’ve shown Firmino a red card if he heard him using the racist insult.
The FA are set to interview both players this week before deciding whether to bring charges.
Other Liverpool and Everton players, referee Bobby Madley and fourth official Jon Moss will also be interviewed as part of their probe, with both clubs promising full co-operation.