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30th Oct 2020

Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson criticises Jordan Pickford for Van Dijk challenge

Simon Lloyd

The fallout continues

Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson has labelled Jordan Pickford’s challenge on Virgil van Dijk “unnecessary”, as the fallout from the Dutchman’s long-term knee injury continues.

Everton’s goalkeeper clattered into the Dutch defender during the early moments of the Merseyside Derby earlier this month, causing a grade three tear to his anterior cruciate which could rule him our for the rest of the season.

Pickford escaped any form of punishment for the challenge but has since been widely criticised for it – to the extent that he has now reportedly hired bodyguards to protect himself.

Alisson, who missed the game at Goodison Park through an injury of his own, has now offered his take on the situation in an interview given to Sky Sports.

“Every goalkeeper has a different way to play, a different way to move, but in that moment 100 per cent it is not a necessary movement,” the Brazilian said.

“But thinking what I have in my mind when I go for a situation, I go to finish the situation because if I go too soft I know the opponent can score.

“Everyone has their own way to go for the ball.

“I don’t agree with that [Pickford’s] way, everybody can see that, but it was just an unnecessary moment and movement.”

Liverpool confirmed on Friday that Van Dijk had undergone successful surgery on his injured knee, and will continue his rehabilitation programme with the club’s medical department.

The defender’s absence has left Liverpool light of options at the heart of their defence, with Joel Matip also struggling with injury in recent weeks.

To make matters worse for Jurgen Klopp, Fabinho – who had been moved back into the heart of Liverpool’s defence to cover Van Dijk, also pulled up with an injury during the midweek Champions League tie with Midtjylland at Anfield.