Van Dijk injured by Pickford in Merseyside derby after horror tackle
‘That’s a leg breaker of a challenge’: Virgil van Dijk hobbles off injured in Merseyside derby after horror tackle from Jordan Pickford as fans express disbelief at no red card
- Jordan Pickford took a huge gamble in the early stages of the Merseyside derby
- The goalkeeper came out and clattered Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk
- Offside was awarded, saving Pickford from a possible straight red card dismissal
Virgil van Dijk was left hobbling from the pitch in the Merseyside derby after a horror challenge from Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.
Pickford came surging out of his goal in the early stages of the match and clattered into Liverpool defender Van Dijk in a scissors motion, crunching the outstretched knee of the Dutchman.
Van Dijk immediately collapsed in a heap and needed extensive treatment in the area, before having no option but to leave the field.
Jordan Pickford completely missed the ball and crunched the knee of Virgil van Dijk
Huge questions were immediately asked of Pickford, who was lucky to escape a red card and penalty kick due to Van Dijk being in a marginally offside position.
The Video Assistant Referee took a look at the situation, though ruled Van Dijk was not in a goal-scoring position so a verdict on Pickford could not be awarded.
With thousands of football fans watching on around the world, social media quickly became awash with instant reaction.
One user wrote: ‘That’s a leg breaker of a challenge with no intention but to hurt the player.’
Another added: ‘Offside or not, Pickford should be sent off for that disgusting challenge.’
Even Gary Neville, who rarely misses an opportunity to poke fun at his former rivals, took to Twitter to offer his verdict that Pickford was ‘very lucky.’
Jurgen Klopp had no option but to withdraw Van Dijk, with Liverpool set to return to Champions League action next week against Ajax.
On in his place came Joe Gomez, who had been dropped from the starting line-up following Liverpool’s shock 7-2 defeat by Aston Villa.
At the time of the incident Liverpool were leading the game courtesy of an early strike by the returning Sadio Mane in the opening minutes.
Following Van Dijk’s departure, Everton quickly clawed their way back into the contest courtesy of a Michael Keane header from a corner kick.
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