Everton star James Rodriguez avoids red for stamp on Man Utd flop Alexis Sanchez

Everton midfielder James Rodriguez narrowly escaped a rare red card during the international break.

The former Real Madrid playmaker put in a horror challenge on former Manchester United forward Alexis Sanchez during the draw between Chile and Colombia in Santiago – leaving his opponent in agony.

The World Cup qualifier finished level thanks to Radamel Falcao’s injury-time equaliser, but Inter Milan’s Sanchez was forced to limp during the closing stages following the incident.

Rodriguez caught the Chile captain with a full set of studs above the ankle on his right foot.

The 29-year-old received only a yellow card for his tackle from referee Dario Herrera – with VAR agreeing.

Jefferson Lerma had given Colombia an early lead which was cancelled out by Arturo Vidal’s penalty.

Former Arsenal forward Sanchez then gave his side a lead that would last into the closing stages.

The eventual 2-2 draw leaves Chile without a win from their first two qualifiers, with Colombia moving onto four points following their win over Venezuela.

Rodriguez has managed three goals and two assists across his first four Premier League appearances, and his huge impact was predicted by Gary Neville at the start of the current campaign.

In a chat with Sky Sports, he said: “I think everyone wants to see how he does in the Premier League.

“I think we’ve seen players who have had sensational World Cups, played at Real Madrid and you know they have got a huge talent. At least [Everton] are buying a big name.

“They have got a big name manager and a few big name players, and if that doesn't change the mentality and culture of the club that has really struggled, walk into a big match anywhere it would seem for years and years and feel like they belong.

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“James Rodriguez is not going to go out there and feel like he doesn't belong on this occasion.

"He has played for Real Madrid, in World Cups, he played for Bayern Munich.

“For me, I think it is about the mentality shift that Everton have needed to make. Signing young players is great, we know they have got some good young players. But are they going to do it on their own? No.”

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