Everton boss Frank Lampard believes Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk should have seen red during Saturday’s Merseyside derby.
Although the game ended goalless, it was an enthralling encounter with both sides having plenty of chances, with Everton denied a late winner after Conor Coady’s tap-in was overturned by VAR for the narrowest of offsides.
However, towards the end of the match there was controversy as Van Dijk committed a late, studs up challenge on Amadou Onana which Anthony Taylor deemed was only worthy of a yellow card.
That wasn’t the view of Lampard though, who believes the referee made a mistake and expressed his shock that the foul wasn’t reviewed by VAR for a sending off.
‘I love Virgil van Dijk, I think he’s fantastic. Sometimes as a player, you mistime tackles, they look bad or they are bad,’ the manager said in his post-match interview.
‘If you look at the moment he connects with Amadou up on his shin and Amadou’s foot is on the ground, I’m surprised it hasn’t gone to VAR and the referee has gone to look at it and make what I think was the correct decision.
‘It doesn’t matter now but, for me, it was a red card and of course that changes the face of the last 20 minutes.
‘There’s been talk before this derby and other derbies recently about bad tackles. The ref has a job to do and I just think they got that one wrong, in my opinion.
‘I’ve heard a lot this week of insinuating time-wasting about my players in the game at Leeds, which I spoke about yesterday and some things that were negative last year which were negative and maybe decisions we were on the wrong end of.’
The Merseyside derby is a match of high passions and high tensions and Saturday’s encounter at Goodison Park was no exception.
A draw is a result that does not do either side much good, with Liverpool six points of league leaders Arsenal having played a game more at the time of writing.
Everton meanwhile are the only side, other than Leicester, still winless this season, though they can take heart from a heroic performance.
‘I thought we were brilliant. It’s one of the best 0-0s you’re likely to see,’ Lampard added.
‘Pickford made some great saves, you need your keeper to be on it in games like this. It was a real game of two teams going for it.
‘I can’t fault the players and the spirit. We played well, we’re getting better.’
It feels like those wins will come. The fans can see a team that fights for the badge and gives everything. That makes me proud.’
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