While it seems clear from the footage that Melo was not intentionally trying to put the studs of his boots into the throat Lucas Biglia initially, that’s exactly what happened in their Serie A match over the weekend.
You can see Melo first get his foot on the ball, but he continues to bring the leg up and when he can no longer extend it upward it finds a home coming down right above the collarbone and into the neck of Biglia.
If the physical contact would have stopped there it’s possible that Felipe would’ve gone out with simply a yellow for dangerous play.
It seems that his push off into a tuck and roll is the smoking gun in this case. It’s easy to say it was intentional in slow motion, but this all happened in a matter of seconds. If Felipe wouldn’t have seemingly jumped into the roll (watch how high he gets off the ground) this may have been less of an issue.
As it is? I don’t expect him to win his appeal of the red if he chooses to go that route.
Author’s note: A lot of people have tried to sensationalize this story as “PRO WRESTLING DROP-KICK FELIPE MELO”, but the author just wanted remind folks of what a purely intentional dropkick looks like: