Ex-Premier League referee baffled by Pickford not being sent off vs Liverpool
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Former Premier League referee Peter Walton reckons Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford was lucky not have been sent off for his challenge on Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk in Saturday's Merseyside Derby.
Pickford collided with the Dutchman in the first half of the match as he tried to prevent a goal-bound shot.
The England international got very little on the ball with his reckless scissor challenge, which caught van Dijk just below the knee.
VAR took a long look at the incident but ultimately decided not to punish Pickford for his wild tackle.
Van Dijk tried to shake off the challenge but was forced off at the ten-minute mark, with Reds boss Jurgen Klopp sending on Joe Gomez in his place.
Pickford escaped punishment as van Dijk was adjudged to have been in an offside position before their collision.
The decision of the video assistant referee not to punish the former Sunderland man baffled Walton, who told BT Sport: "It's a two-stage [process].
"First of all, they look at that offside. And when we saw the pictures, it looks like he was offside to begin with. However, when we freeze the frames, you'll see that van Dijk is just being played offside when he goes through there."
He added: "The foul from Pickford, though, is still relevant. Even though the whistle may have gone, or the game has stopped, players are still accountable for their actions.
"The VAR will have looked at that to see if there's a point of serious foul play happening. Personally, I think it was serious foul play and that Pickford was a lucky player not to have been sent off for that particular challenge."
Former Liverpool striker Peter Crouch reckons Pickford should've been given his marching orders, saying: "It's a potential leg-breaking tackle.
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"You see the still [image] at the end there, it's horrendous. If that happens in the middle of the pitch [it's a red card]. I think sometimes keepers do get away with it because they have to fly out.
"But it's a potential leg-breaking tackle. If that happens in the middle of the pitch, it's instantly a red card. It doesn't matter about the red card."
- Jurgen Klopp
- Virgil van Dijk
- Premier League
- Liverpool FC
- Everton FC
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