Jordan Pickford sends apology to Virgil van Dijk after horror challenge
Pickford relayed his apologies to Van Dijk via Henderson
Jordan Pickford has sent his apologies to Virgil van Dijk after his poorly-timed tackle saw the Liverpool defender leave the Merseyside Derby due to injury inside the opening ten minutes.
After making a slow start, Everton were already trailing to Sadio Mane's opener when the goalkeeper clattered into Van Dijk inside his own area. The defender had been marginally offside when the ball was played to him, so a penalty wasn't given.
Surprisingly, Pickford faced no punishment for the challenge - with VAR only consulted to check for offside and not for a possible red card.
"He could have easily been sent off."
"I'm very surprised it's just been forgotten about?"
Jordan Pickford's challenge on Virgil van Dijk did not look good 😬
Should VAR have stepped in after this? pic.twitter.com/wTcW6CHcIf
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) October 17, 2020
Everton equalised through a Michael Keane header soon after, though Mo Salah re-established the visitors' lead in the second half. Dominic Calvert-Lewin nodded home Everton's second equaliser of the game with nine minutes to play, but the drama didn't stop there.
Another poor challenge, this time from Richarlison, saw Everton reduced to ten. With a one-man advantage, Liverpool looked to have won the game through a Jordan Henderson goal, only for an incredibly tight VAR call to rescue Carlo Ancelotti's men.
Post-game, the failure of Michael Oliver and the VAR officials to send off Pickford proved a major talking point.
Speaking after full-time, Henderson, who had yet to see replays of the incident, revealed that Pickford had asked him to pass on his apologies to Van Dijk.
"Everyone keeps asking me so I guess it must not have been good challenge," Liverpool's captain said. "
"Jordan came up and apologised after the game and [told me] to tell Virgil."
Pickford made a series of important saves to deny Liverpool in the second half, and was fortunate that Henderson's late effort - which squirmed under his hand - was ruled out.