Everton forward Richarlison has explained his clash with Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk in the 2018-19 camapaign – and said it was partly to waste time to try to see out a draw in their match.
Richarlison is clearly not a fan of Van Dijk, and said this season that the Dutchman is overrated, citing Thiago Silva, Marquinhos and Ramos as better defenders than the Liverpool star.
Things came to a head between both players in the Merseyside derby in 2018, when the two got involved in a clash with the scores still 0-0.
While speaking to Brazilian outlet Globo Esporte, Everton forward Richarlison discussed about the encounter.
“Of course I was never going to back down,” he said. “There was a disagreement during the game, which ended up in the typical heated way.
“I was also having the fight to waste time, and the Liverpool players did not like it. Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joe Gomez tried to get involved.
“But it was nothing out of the ordinary. In the whole fight we wasted five minutes, which was good for the team. I said (to Van Dijk) in Portuguese: ‘who do you think you are?’
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“They were defending their colours and we were defending ours, it was a typical derby.”
Though Everton eventually lost the match 1-0 to Liverpool through a last minute goal by Divock Origi.
And, Carlo Ancelotti has challenged Richarlison to improve on his goals next season, and believes he has the potential to score 30 goals a season.
The Italian manager told Sky Sports: “I think Richarlison is wrong to say that the target will be 20. The target doesn’t have to be 20 for him. It should as a minimum be 30.
“I’ve had strikers that were able to score 60 goals in a season – it doesn’t matter the name
“But even in England, Didier Drogba scored 29 goals in one Premier League season alone. So the target for Richarlison will be 30 – not 20.