But the Dutchman insisted there was no malice in the two-footed aerial lunge at Everton's Phil Neville that infuriated the home players and manager David Moyes.

Kuyt had already scored one controversial penalty when he hurled himself at Neville. Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez insisted he was "trying to block the ball, not connect with the player."

Kuyt himself claimed: "People saw the TV and said my booking looks bad. But I was just trying to make a tackle and I did not want to touch the player, and I didn't.

"Maybe I was a bit lucky, but I never had any intention of trying to hit the player, it was a yellow card and I accept that."