Brad Friedel told Sky Sports that Liverpool 'keeper Alexander Doni was unfortunate to be sent off in the Reds' 3-2 win at Blackburn on Tuesday night.
The Brazilian - deputising for the suspended Pepe Reina - was red carded for fouling onrushing Blackburn attacker Junior Hoilett inside the penalty area after 25 minutes.
But Tottenham custodian Friedel - who has enjoyed spells at both Anfield and Ewood Park - believes a spot-kick alone would have been sufficient punishment.
"By the letter of the law, then yes (he probably deserved to be red carded), but I think it's harsh when a goalkeeper is going for the ball to give both a penalty and send him off," he said.
The Merseysiders' substitute stopper, Brad Jones, saved the resulting penalty from his ex-Middlesbrough team-mate Yakubu, but gave away a spot-kick in the second half after pushing down Rovers' Nigerian frontman.
When pressed if the yellow card given to Jones for the offence should have been red, Friedel said: "I think the argument here will be is Yakubu definitely going to score, some will argue yes and some will argue no.
"I presume the referee has only given a booking because he believes the nearest defender (Sebastian Coates) will get to the ball before Yakubu."
Liverpool let slip a two-goal lead at Ewood Park before snatching the win courtesy of Andy Carroll's last-minute header.
Friedel thinks that has set Kenny Dalglish's men up perfectly for Saturday's FA Cup semi-final against local rivals Everton, while the American also insists that relegation-threatened Blackburn still have plenty to be positive about.
"Kenny and the Liverpool supporters had another stressful night; they were 2-0 up and cruising but, with lots of refereeing decisions and challenges, it became an exciting night," he said.
"Every one of those players will be walking out of that changing room in a much better mood. They could have gone into Saturday with a bit of apprehension but now they will be feeling 10 feet tall."
On Blackburn, Friedel added: "They probably didn't make Jones work hard enough in the game and they will be kicking themselves. But they showed a lot of fight and you can't turn Blackburn over; there are points there for them."