A lot has been made of Jordan Pickford’s tackle on Virgil van Dijk in Saturday’s Merseyside Derby.
Five days on, the fallout continues.
Van Dijk is likely to miss the rest of the season for the terribly timed tackle by the Everton goalkeeper, who escaped without punishment.
The reaction has been quite something.
Some fans have called for Pickford to be banned for as long as Van Dijk is out for. Others, including Jamie Carragher, have defended Pickford insisting he didn’t mean to cause injury to the Dutchman.
Van Dijk’s compatriot and Liverpool teammate, Georginio Wijnaldum, called Pickford ‘stupid’ for his tackle and admitted the squad have struggled to sleep as a result.
“Of course we are upset,” Wijnaldum said before Liverpool’s 1-0 win against Ajax. “The way Pickford went into the challenge was completely, in my opinion, stupid.
“I believe he didn’t want to injure Virgil the way he injured him, but the way he took the tackle, he didn’t care about what happened. We had it a lot in the games against Everton. In my opinion, they take it way too far in the games we play against them. We know it’s a derby and everyone wants to win, and sometimes you go a little bit over the top. But this was too much.”
On Thursday, Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti was asked about the tackle and said that Pickford didn’t mean to injure Van Dijk.
“Jordan arrived a little bit later but his intention was to try to reach the ball. It was not to hurt Virgil van Dijk.
“To say it was premeditated, and this and that, in my opinion, is too much.
However, in the same interview, Ancelotti revealed that James Rodriguez will miss Everton’s trip to Southampton because of a tackle made by Van Dijk earlier in the match.
In the opening minute, Van Dijk clattered into James on the halfway line. The Colombian struggled on with injury for the remaining 90 minutes but is now suffering from the clash.
“Unfortunately, James had a problem during the game,” Ancelotti said.
“He had a mistimed tackle with Virgil van Dijk at the beginning of the game and I think he will not be available for the game against Southampton."
And now, we’ve found footage of that tackle which occurred inside the opening 60 seconds.
Take a look:
He also produced a strong tackle on Dominic Calvert-Lewin in the opening minutes from behind.
Of course, we’re not saying Van Dijk deserved to be injured by Pickford because of those challenges but it shows that he wasn’t exactly an angel in the Merseyside Derby.
We wish him all the best in his recovery.
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