Virgil van Dijk: VAR didn't know he could send Everton's Jordan Pickford off for challenge on Liverpool star


Some Liverpool fans haven’t taken their controversial 2-2 draw against Everton on Saturday very well.

There’s the one who’s planning a protest against the result in an attempt to get two points back.

Then there’s ‘Charles the Red’, who has cancelled his Sky and BT Sport subscriptions and says he won’t be watching football again until VAR is gone.

A petition has also been set up on demanding that David Coote, the video assistant referee for the Merseyside derby, be sacked.

It’s got 9,000 signatures at the time of writing.


It all seems a bit much, although we will agree on their right to be angry.

Liverpool were very hard done by on Saturday. Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford could have seen red for a reckless challenge that caused Virgil van Dijk’s ACL injury, and Jordan Henderson’s disallowed goal late on was cruel.

This is offside in today’s Premier League, ladies and gentlemen. This.


It was the injury to Van Dijk, however, that could affect Liverpool’s title charge the most.

The Dutch defender is Liverpool’s most important player and will be missed in the backline.

The thought that Pickford will go unpunished while Van Dijk will spend the next few months rehabbing a seriously injured knee is an uneasy one.

The Everton and England ‘keeper raced out of his goal and collided with Van Dijk. Sky Sports pundit Graeme Souness called it ‘assault’.

VAR 'didn't know' he could send Pickford off

Liverpool fans will have been left wondering where Pickford’s red card was, but he avoided any punishment.

It’s since emerged that Coote, the VAR, didn’t actually know that he could send Pickford off when he reviewed the incident at Stockley Park.

According to the Daily Mail, Coote failed to look at whether the Everton goalkeeper should be dismissed because he thought that the offside in the build-up nullified what happened afterwards.


So Coote focused solely on whether or not Van Dijk was offside, and failed to take notice of the horror foul that occurred seconds later.

Liverpool insiders reportedly say they were told after the match that the VAR was ‘too distracted’ by the offside check.

PGMOL boss Mike Riley then told the club on Sunday that the match officials did review Pickford’s challenge and decided it didn’t warrant a red card.

The whole debacle has understandably left Liverpool very frustrated. They are demanding ‘urgent clarification’ on the PGMOL’s handling of it.

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