During Liverpool's 2-1 FA Cup triumph over Everton, Mason Holgate shoved Roberto Firmino into the stands, an act of petulance from the 21-year-old which sparked an intense exchange between the two rivalling professionals.
As the two squared up to one another between Robert Madley, it's believed that the Reds' Brazilian attacker could have spouted obscenities towards the culprit right-back, and fans have a hunch to why the Toffees defender reacted in such a furious manner.
With many rewinding the incident to capture the telling moment the altercation boiled over, it's clear to see the striker may have mouthed the word "puta", but with the rest of Firmino's heated utterance being somewhat impeded on the broadcast camera shot, supporters and spectators have had their say via Twitter, and it makes for an interesting read indeed.
Unfortunately I think Firmino said something bad. Holgate is very calm when firmino is talking in Portuguese. Then Kenny walks in front of the camera and we don't see firmino's mouth, but he continued to speak. Then holgate reacts really violently, in an instant. Ominous #LFC— KeitaSalahSalah (@KeitaSalahSalah) January 6, 2018
Rewinding and looking at it again, Holgate reacts fractionally later than I'd thought, to something said as Kenny's head obscures Firmino's mouth.— Jonathan Wilson (@jonawils) January 5, 2018
Not going to lie, I’d be really heartbroken if Bobby Firmino did say something racist to Holgate. It’s obvious what he said before Kenny blocked the camera, but Holgate clearly reacted to what was said after. It’s also hard to imagine Bobby Madley not hearing whatever was said...— Zecharias Mengis (@TheMengisKhan) January 6, 2018
Holgate reacted to something just as Firmino is obscured by Kenny. If something racist was said then these clips won't prove anything. Other angles needed— AO (@InvertedFB) January 6, 2018
Not a fan of defending Firmino/abusing Holgate until they've investigated. Could've said something when Kenny was blocking the view on TV— Sam (@ke8ta) January 5, 2018
Obviously we don’t know for sure what happened, but if Roberto Firmino did use a racist insult against Mason Holgate, then that’s disgraceful and the club need to report it to the Football Association first thing tomorrow morning.— Everton Blue Army (@EvertonBlueArmy) January 5, 2018
The FA Cup encounter was ultimately marred by the fracas, and if the FA are to investigate further, it could leave an everlasting sourness to the fixture and an unwanted racist advert for English football.