Kevin Mirallas admitted he was lucky to avoid a red card...after having an “oh s**t” moment in the heat of the derby.

The Everton striker was at the centre of the most controversial incident in what is being billed the ‘game of the season’, after a wild lunge at Luis Suarez.

Afterwards, even his own manager Roberto Martinez conceded the Belgian could have walked, and Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers insisted the referee changed the course of the game by failing to dismiss him.

And the winger himself realised he was in trouble as soon as he made the first half challenge. “Sometimes when you put a tackle in you think ‘oh s**t’, - like this one,” he admitted.

“When I made the challenge the first thing I thought was that it was going to be a red card. I was genuinely going for the ball but I know I caught him on the knee and I said sorry straight away.

“I might have been okay because it was the derby, because in those matches there is always a lot of contact, a lot of tackles going in. There is a lot of pressure on the players and the fans in these sort of games.”

In a searingly honest post-match interview, Mirallas revealed that he had reminded Suarez during the game of a bad challenge the South American had made on him in a previous derby encounter.

But he rejects any suggestion his knee-high stamp on the Liverpool forward was in any way an attempt to exact revenge for that incident.