Everton vs Liverpool: Why Pickford wasn’t sent off for his horror tackle on Van Dijk

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How is Jordan Pickford still on the pitch during the Merseyside derby?

The England and Everton goalkeeper produced a shocking tackle on Virgil van Dijk during the first half which caused the Liverpool defender to go off injured.

If Van Dijk hadn’t been ruled offside, Pickford would have conceded a penalty and could possibly have been sent off.

But should he have been sent off anyway?

That was the question being asked by football fans and the BT Sport commentators.

Surely it doesn’t matter if the whistle had already gone?

Well, according to ESPN’s Dale Johnson, you can’t be sent off for ‘serious foul play’ after the whistle has gone.

He explained: “There’s no red for Pickford because the offside cancels serious foul play afterward. Challenge classed as this.

“Compare to VVD being through on goal. Pickford would not be sent off for DOGSO if VVD offside.

“Violent conduct still punishable, not serious foul play.”

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However, Dale Johnson later revealed that VAR didn’t even check for a red card because they were too busy looking at Van Dijk’s offside.

As for the offside, Johnson explained that Van Dijk would actually have been ONSIDE if it was last season.

“Virgil van Dijk offside by the new point of handball on the arm, rather than the armpit.

Last season, this would have been onside.

“Note the red line doesn’t go to the elbow. It carries through and that’s the calculation point.”

Van Dijk had to leave the pitch following Pickford’s terrible tackle and his side lost the lead Sadio Mane had given them shortly afterward.

With Van Dijk off the pitch, Everton exploited the space he left behind by scoring from a header as Michael Keane rose highest to equalise.

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