Pickford avoids punishment after injuring van Dijk with shocking challenge
A lively start to the Merseyside Derby...
Virgil van Dijk had to be withdrawn through injury after less than 10 minutes of the Merseyside Derby on Saturday after being on the receiving end of a shocking challenge from Jordan Pickford.
After a slow start from Everton, Liverpool had taken the lead through Sadio Mane inside three minutes at Goodison Park.
Soon afterwards, matters very nearly became much worse for the home side when their goalkeeper clattered into Van Dijk inside the area.
Liverpool would have almost certainly been awarded a penalty for the incident had Van Dijk he not been ruled to have strayed marginally offside as the ball was played into him.
Despite this, it doesn't explain why Pickford escaped any form of punishment for the challenge, which resulted in Van Dijk leaving the field of play soon afterwards through injury. The ruling appears to be that foul play after an offside does not count, but violent conduct would be punished.
As it stood, Pickford stayed on while Joe Gomez replaced the limping Van Dijk.
To exacerbate things for Jurgen Klopp's side, Everton, who went into the game as Premier League leaders following their 100 per cent start to the new season, were able to draw level through a Michael Keane header on 20 minutes.