Watch: Virgil van Dijk somehow avoids red for horror challenge

Virgil van Dijk gives a thumbs up during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Everton at Goodison Park, Liverpool, September 2022.

Liverpool’s stuttering start to the Premier League season continued with a goalless draw at Everton but the Reds were fortunate that the afternoon wasn’t even worse after Virgil van Dijk avoided a red card despite a studs-up tackle on Andre Onana.

Van Dijk got caught up in the frantic pace of a chaotic second half, lunging in on the advancing Onana but failing to make contact with the ball.

The Netherlands international appeared to go over the ball and scrape down the shins of his opponent, leading to fierce calls from the Goodison crowd for a red card.

But referee Anthony Taylor – who had been allowing strong challenges to happen consistently throughout the derby – brandished a yellow card.

“The threshold on that one if there’s any force used against the foot it’s a yellow card,” Peter Walton said live on BT Sport in the midst of the decision.

“If the force is used to the shin it could be elevated to a red card. But, in this instance, Virgil van Dijk’s foot actually slipped down the shin and ended up on the foot which is why it’s a yellow card.”

The 0-0 draw means Liverpool have won just two of their six Premier League games this season and could end the day seven points behind champions Manchester City.

Speaking to the Match of the Day cameras afterwards, Van Dijk said: “It was an intense game – a game that we feel we lost points. Hitting the post and the crossbar, we could’ve done better in this case but we have to accept there were good moments and moments for improvement.

“We’re still early in the season so we want to improve and we know we can.

“They had two big moments, with Alisson making a few saves and offside is offside, if we count our opportunities I think we should’ve won the game and unfortunately we didn’t.

“It’s about winning games, and we didn’t win as much as we would like to. We have 32 games left and everyone can have their opinion but we have players coming back from injury and hopefully everyone can stay fit and we try to get some wins.

“The expectation is high, we are one of the biggest clubs in the world so that will always be the case so we have to enjoy it too.”

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