Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher has stated that Cristiano Ronaldo was 'lucky' not to be sent off in Manchester United's 5-0 defeat to Liverpool.

The Portuguese superstar was shown a yellow card for repeatedly kicking out at Liverpool's Curtis Jones but, according to the views of Gallagher, could have been issued with his marching orders on another day.

It was a horrendous match for United against their rivals, with an embarrassing defeat seeing salt added to the wounds by Paul Pogba's lunge on Naby Keita that earned the midfielder a dismissal.

In other circumstances, however, Gallagher has made it clear that he may not have been the only player to have been sent for an early bath.

" Ronaldo was lucky the ball was there, that is what saved him from being shown a red card," he told Sky Sports.

What also helped was that he stopped when he did. It wasn't the wisest thing to do, there is force behind the kicks, but the fact that the ball was there has done him a great favour.

"When you look at it in the end, the yellow card was the right decision. It's difficult to say if things would have been different had Jones rolled about on the floor but he didn't, he was very good and very professional."

On Pogba 's dismissal, Gallagher agreed with the decision that came after a VAR review, stating: "It's definitely the right decision. The referee sees it as a yellow card because of where he is on the pitch.

"But when you see it back Pogba clearly goes over the ball, arrives from distance, and makes contact with Keita's studs, and when you come from distance you gather intensity.

"The fact Keita had to leave the field on a stretcher showed how bad a tackle it was, Pogba was quite rightly sent off."

Sign up to our United newsletter so you never miss an update from Old Trafford this s eason.