Liverpool centre-back Virgil van Dijk was sent off against Newcastle United in their Premier League match at St James’ Park on Sunday after appearing to bring down Alexander Isak.
Trent Alexander-Arnold escaped being sent off five minutes into the game after the referee opted against showing him a second yellow card after he left an arm on Anthony Gordon who had sprinted past him.
The Liverpool full-back had been shown a yellow card earlier for throwing the ball away and was lucky not to be booked for his foul minutes later.
However, Van Dijk was not as lucky as he was shown his marching orders for kicking through the Newcastle striker to get the ball.
VAR also stuck with the on-field call and Liverpool were down to ten men three minutes after finding themselves behind.
Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville agreed with the decision, insisting the Reds skipper could have avoided making the tackle.
“Van Dijk kicks through Isak to get the ball,” the former Manchester United star said.
“It’s so rash from the Liverpool defender, who wouldn’t have tried to win the ball a few years ago.
“He doesn’t have to commit.”
However, not many agreed with Neville, with Gary Lineker and Chris Sutton both saying it was a harsh decision, taking to X (formerly known as Twitter) to air their views.
Might not be the general consensus but that looked like a very harsh red card to me. @VirgilvDijk clearly got the ball. Maybe my eyes are getting worse in my old age.
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) August 27, 2023
That red looked very harsh…
— Chris Sutton (@chris_sutton73) August 27, 2023
Argentina international midfielder Alexis Mac Allister was sent off against Bournemouth last weekend but Liverpool appealed against the suspension and it was upheld by an Independent Regulatory Commission.
However, it remains to be seen if they have plans to do so again with Van Dijk, and the Netherlands international will miss just a game as the incident which resulted in the sending off was non-violent.
As a result, the centre-back will only miss the Premier League game against Aston Villa at Anfield next Sunday and will be available for selection when Liverpool return to action with a trip to Molineux Stadium to face Wolverhampton Wanderers on September 16 after the international break.
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