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27th Aug 2023

Jamie Carragher and Shay Given butt heads over Virgil van Dijk red card

Lee Costello

Virgil van Dijk

“I’m not on the fence.”

Virgil van Dijk received a straight red card for a tackle on Alexander Isak, but Jamie Carragher and Shay Given had differing opinions on the matter.

Liverpool had just gone 1-0 down after a Trent Alexander Arnold mistake left Anthony Gordon one on one with Allison, and the former Everton striker slotted home.

Then with the ejection of Liverpool’s captain and best defender, things went from bad to worse, and they managed to limp through the first half, keeping the score to 1-0.

At half time, Carragher was adamant that it was not a straight red, although he did concede that it was a foul.

“Virgil van Dijk does a lot wrong here. He was lazy initially in terms of not getting across. The decision to then go and make a challenge is ill-advised, but I still don’t think that’s a red card.

“I don’t think there is enough there, how do you know that that’s a goal scoring opportunity? I think initially he’s lazy, he should get over earlier, he should not maybe make the challenge, but that is not a red card.”

Shay Given was also in the studio, and he was equally as defiant in his stance.

“I disagree, I think it’s a red, I think it’s the right decision. What he is trying to do as a centre forward, is let the ball run ahead in front of him, then he’s through one vs one, so it’s denying a goal-scoring opportunity.”

“The red card is not about whether it’s a foul, he gave a foul away, no doubt, but we don’t know if it was a goal-scoring opportunity,” replied Carragher.

Andrés Townsend was much more liberal in his approach, and could see both sides of the argument.

“I’m on the fence on this, I’m VAR.”

Given however, wanted to underline his stance on the matter: “I’m not on the fence, I think it’s the right decision, VAR had a look at it, and I think John brooks has got the right decision.”

The second half looked to follow a similar suit as Newcastle continued to dominate, but Klopp introduced Darwin Nunez and Diogo Jota, and it ultimately changed the game.

Jota started to cause a threat and make the Toon Army nervous at defence, which made them sit off, then Nunez was had the kind of introduction that strikers can only dream off.

Despite being on the pitch for only 13 minutes, he scored two incredible goals and Liverpool managed to steal the victory when it looked least likely.

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