Liverpool skipper Virgil van Dijk could face more punishment by the Football Association over his reaction to being sent off against Newcastle United, according to reports.
The Reds appeared to be on the ropes at St James’ Park on Sunday when, just three minutes after conceding the game’s opening goal, their captain was dismissed for clattering Alexander Isak and denying a goalscoring chance.
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Newcastle had a number of opportunities to put the game to bed, with Miguel Almiron forcing a brilliant save from Alisson, before Darwin Nunez came off the bench to stun the home crowd with a late brace that secured a 2-1 victory for the visitors.
Van Dijk was sent off in the game, with manager Jurgen Klopp adamant the challenge was not worthy of a red card.
Both the Liverpool boss and his skipper were livid at the time, with Van Dijk spending a long time on the pitch arguing his case before heading down the tunnel several minutes later.
According to the Daily Mail, his actions – and refusal to leave the pitch – could land him in hot water with the FA and incur more punishment for confrontational behaviour.
The 32-year-old will serve a one-match ban which will see him miss next week’s home game against Aston Villa, but Liverpool will now be sweating over whether any further action is taken.
Van Dijk pointed his finger in the face of referee John Brooks, and also appeared to use foul language as he refused to leave the pitch.
When he did so, he also berated the fourth official Craig Pawson and seemed to shout ‘f***ing joke’ – which falls into the category of ‘improper conduct’ towards the officials.
Former referee Mike Dean believes Van Dijk’s behaviour crossed a line and could even warrant more punishment depending on what is written in the referee’s report afterwards.
He told the Daily Mail: ‘Van Dijk disagreed as he unleashed a verbal volley on fourth official Craig Pawson, which was out of line.
‘Depending on what is written in the referee’s report, Van Dijk may find himself in further trouble with the football authorities.’
Klopp, meanwhile, said afterwards: ‘I don’t think it is a red card. It’s pretty much no contact, very little, and it’s on the way to the ball, but what can I say? The decision is like this, I cannot change it and I don’t want it. It’s just, would I give this in a training game? Definitely not. There are reasons why I am not a ref and they are.’