Pickford could have seen red despite offside as ex-Prem ref and Crouch blast Everton man for horror tackle on Van Dijk

JORDAN PICKFORD not only dodged giving away a penalty in the Merseyside derby – but also a red card.

Former Premier League referee Peter Walton described the Everton goalkeeper as 'lucky' after he escaped punishment for a lunge on Virgil van Dijk.

Liverpool demanded a penalty after the defender was wiped out when beating his rival to a looping cross in the six-yard box.

However, the flag was up and a VAR check confirmed van Dijk was millimetres offside.

A sending off was nevertheless still on the cards for Pickford, a punishment which he escaped.

Pundits on BT Sport were shocked to see the 26-year-old get away with the lunge which injured van Dijk.

Peter Crouch described the challenge as: "A potential leg breaking tackle."

Ex-ref Walton added: "The foul from Pickford is still relevant.

"Because even though the the game is stopped, players are still accountable for their actions.

"And the VAR would have looked at that to see if there was serious foul play.

"Personally, I think it was serious foul play and I think Pickford was a lucky player not to have been sent off."

Van Dijk was taken out of a Premier League game for the first time since September 2018 as a result of the blow.

With Liverpool 1-0 up at the time, Everton soon equalised via Michael Keane.

After Mohamed Salah and Dominic Calvert-Lewin made it 2-2, Jordan Henderson was denied a stoppage time derby winner by another VAR offside call.

Source: Read Full Article