Pickford likely to escape card for tackle

Jordan Pickford makes a crunching tackle on Virgil van Dijk which left him with an ACL injury.
Jordan Pickford makes a crunching tackle on Virgil van Dijk which left him with an ACL injury.

Liverpool have asked the Premier League to review the use of the video assistant referee in the incident that left central defender Virgil van Dijk fighting to save his season.

The Dutchman suffered an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury after a reckless challenge from Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford in their Premier League clash at Goodison Park on Saturday.

The Dutch international skipper was forced to leave the field following the incident, but the keeper escaped punishment because van Dijk had been adjudged offside seconds before that.

According to widespread media reports on Monday, the Football Association said it would not be taking any retrospective action against the No.1 because the incident was seen by match officials at the time.

Van Dijk has vowed to return stronger after learning he will need surgery on his knee.

In a statement on his social media feed, Van Dijk said he had met with a consultant and would return from surgery as soon as he can.

"I'm now fully focused on my recovery and will do everything I can to be back as soon as possible," he said.

"Despite the obvious disappointment, I'm a firm believer that within difficulty lies opportunity, and with God's help I'm going to make sure I return better, fitter and stronger than ever before.

"In football, as in life, I think everything happens for a reason and it's important to try and keep level-headed whether going through the highs and lows."

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp did not say when van Dijk would be having his operation but admitted he would be out for a significant length of time.

"He will be out for a pretty long time and that's what the situation is," Klopp said.

"I expected it pretty much on Saturday after the game immediately, especially when I saw the challenge back.

"So we feel now in this moment extremely, extremely for him because most of us were in a similar situation and we know that these situations are absolutely rubbish."

Champions Liverpool are third with 10 points from five games after Saturday's 2-2 derby draw at Goodison Park.

Everton top the table on 13, one more than Aston Villa who have a game in hand.

Australian Associated Press