‘That was a leg breaker of a challenge’: Virgil van Dijk inflicted injury on Merseyside derby after panic scare from Jordan Pickford as fans expressed disbelief at no red card
- Jordan Pickford took a big gamble in the early stages of the Merseyside derby
- The goalkeeper came out and blew up Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk
- Offered offside, Pickford was saved from a possible straight dismissal on the red card
Virgil van Dijk was left off the pitch in the Merseyside derby after a dreaded challenge from Everton keeper Jordan Pickford.
Pickford exploded from his goal in the early stages of the game and scattered Liverpool defender Van Dijk in the movement of scissors, punching the Dutchman in the open knee.
Van Dijk immediately collapsed into a pile and needed extensive treatment in the area, before having no choice but to leave the farm.
Jordan Pickford completely missed the ball and punched Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk in the knee
Pickford made a mistake and planted his weight on Van Dijk’s leg at full speed
Big questions were immediately asked of Pickford, who was lucky enough to escape a red card and kick off the penalty because of Van Dijk who was in a small offside position.
The Video Assistant Referee looked into the situation, even though it was decided that Van Dijk was not in the goal setting position so a verdict on Pickford could not be passed.
With thousands of football fans watching around the world, social media is quickly filled with instant reactions.
One user wrote: ‘That was a leg breaker of a challenge with no intention but to hurt the player.’
The TV cameras captured all the angles and showed the full scale of the horror thrill
Another added: ‘Outside or not, the pickford should be sent for that disgusting challenge.’
Even Gary Neville, who rarely misses a chance to cheer on his former rival, took to Twitter to offer his verdict that Napford was ‘very lucky.
Jurgen Klopp has no choice but to withdraw Van Dijk, who is set for Liverpool to return to Champions League action next week against Ajax.
In his place came Joe Gomez, who was knocked out of the starting line-up following Liverpool’s shock defeat to Aston Villa.
At the time of the incident Liverpool were leading the game in favor of an early strike by returning Sadio Mane in the opening minutes.
Following Van Dijk’s departure, Everton quickly retreated back to the tournament courtesy of a Michael Keane header from a corner kick.