Van Dijk forced out of Merseyside derby after Pickford horror tackle

Van Dijk

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk is facing a spell on the sidelines after he was forced off during the Merseyside derby with Everton after a poor challenge from Jordan Pickford.

Jurgen Klopp’s side had taken an early lead through Sadio Mane, but the Reds were rocked by the injury sustained by their defensive powerhouse.

Mane’s cross found Van Dijk at the far post but as he attempted to nudge the ball past Jordan Pickford, the Everton keeper raced out of his goal and clattered the defender knee-high in the eighth minute.

Everton only avoided a penalty due to the fact that Van Dijk was standing in an offside position, while Pickford escaped without even a caution from the referee.

Van Dijk received lengthy treatment on the sidelines and although he was able to get back to his feet unaided, but he was unable to continue.

The Dutch centre-back was replaced by Joe Gomez who had been dropped to the bench with Klopp choosing to recall Joel Matip.

And Van Dijk’s absence was felt as Michael Keane drew Everton level in the 19th minute of the game, powering home a header after a corner from James Rodriguez.

Reacting to Van Dijk’s injury, former Everton defender Martin Keown told BT Sport: ‘He’s a massive figure, he’s a power horse in the air.

‘You’ve got Dominic Calvert-Lewin in there, you’ve got balls being whipped in. It’s going to disrupt Liverpool, no doubt. ‘I’m not sure about Matip’s fitness as well coming back from a long lay-off. Who is the leader now in that pack?’


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