Virgil van Dijk was left hobbling from the pitch within the Merseyside derby after a horror problem from Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.
Pickford got here surging out of his purpose within the early levels of the match and clattered into Liverpool defender Van Dijk in a scissors movement, crunching the outstretched knee of the Dutchman.
Van Dijk instantly collapsed in a heap and wanted intensive therapy within the space, earlier than having no choice however to depart the sector.
Jordan Pickford utterly missed the ball and crunched the knee of Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk
Pickford mistimed the problem and planted his weight on Van Dijk’s leg at full velocity
The strain in Van Dijk’s leg could possibly be seen as Pickford slammed in with a scissors movement
Large questions had been instantly requested of Pickford, who was fortunate to flee a purple card and penalty kick attributable to Van Dijk being in a slightly offside place.
The Video Assistant Referee took a take a look at the scenario, although dominated Van Dijk was not in a goal-scoring place so a verdict on Pickford couldn’t be awarded.
With 1000’s of soccer followers watching on all over the world, social media shortly grew to become awash with on the spot response.
One person wrote: ‘That is a leg breaker of a problem with no intention however to harm the participant.’
TV cameras captured all angles and confirmed the total extent of the horror deal with
One other added: ‘Offside or not, Pickford ought to be despatched off for that disgusting problem.’
Even Gary Neville, who not often misses a chance to poke enjoyable at his former rivals, took to Twitter to supply his verdict that Pickford was ‘very fortunate.’
Pickford went on to tug off a string of spectacular saves within the conflict, denying Joel Matip from an arcing nook with cat-like reflexes.
Talking within the BT studio at half-time, former Liverpool man Peter Crouch mentioned: ‘As ex-players we are going to inform you, it is a potential leg breaking deal with. It is horrendous.
‘If that occurs in the course of the pitch they generally get away with it as a result of they must fly out. If that occurs in the course of the pitch it is an on the spot purple card.
Everton icon Leon Osman, additionally that includes as a studio pundit, added: ‘It is a fully horrendous deal with and we do not wish to see it within the recreation. It is a profession ender. However it truly modified the momentum of the sport.’
Jurgen Klopp had no choice however to withdraw Van Dijk, with Liverpool set to return to Champions League motion subsequent week in opposition to Ajax.
On in his place got here Joe Gomez, who had been dropped from the beginning line-up following Liverpool’s shock 7-2 defeat by Aston Villa.
On the time of the incident Liverpool had been main the sport courtesy of an early strike by the returning Sadio Mane within the opening minutes.
Following Van Dijk’s departure, Everton shortly clawed their approach again into the competition courtesy of a Michael Keane header from a nook kick.
The Toffees’ erratic methods continued within the second half as Richarlison was given a straight purple for a harmful lunge on Thiago Alcantara, earlier than the sport completed in probably the most controversial of circumstances after Sadio Mane was officiated to be offside.
The Liverpool man had slipped the ball into captain Jordan Henderson who scored courtesy of a Pickford fumble, just for VAR to controversially save Everton’s blushes.