EPL

'That was a red card' – Lampard baffled as Van Dijk avoids derby red card

By Sports Desk September 03, 2022

Frank Lampard questioned why Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk avoided a red card in Saturday's Merseyside derby after the Dutch defender's late tackle on Amadou Onana.

The centre-back went into referee Anthony Taylor's book for the 76th-minute challenge, when Van Dijk got his timing all wrong and caught Onana just above the ankle.

A gripping match finished goalless, but a red card at that stage of the game could have lifted hosts Everton for the closing minutes.

Manager Lampard could not understand why Taylor was not called to look at the incident again by the video assistant referee.

He said: "If you look at the moment he connects with Amadou's shin and Amadou's foot is on the ground… I'm surprised it hasn't gone to VAR and the referee hasn't been asked to make what I think was the correct decision.

"For me, that was a red card and that changes the face of the last part of the game. The ref and the VAR get that one wrong, in my opinion."

Everton were indebted to the brilliance of their goalkeeper, Jordan Pickford, who pulled off eight saves to keep out Liverpool.

That was the most saves the England international has made when keeping a clean sheet in a Premier League game, with crunch interventions to deny Darwin Nunez, Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Fabinho standing out.

Lampard hailed his shot-stopper, saying: "Jordan gets fingertips on a few bits that a lot of keepers don't get: pushes the one from Nunez on the bar, the one from Mo Salah at the end.

"Alisson was the same, they're two top goalkeepers. We've relied on Jordan a lot since I've been here. He's an amazing goalkeeper. I'm so fortunate to have a player of his level to pull off saves like that."

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    Forest issued an extraordinary statement on social media on Sunday after their 2-0 defeat at Goodison Park, saying they had “warned” referees’ body Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) that Attwell “was a Luton fan” but that “they did not change him”.

    The statement also complained about three penalty appeals which were turned down. Forest said they were now “considering their options”, while the Football Association is understood to be investigating the post.

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    Forest have been contacted for comment.

    The Reds were furious not to be awarded spot-kicks by referee Anthony Taylor for challenges on Giovanni Reyna and Callum Hudson-Odoi by Ashley Young, who also escaped a handball decision. Attwell backed the referee’s on-field decision in each case.

    The club’s social media post on X read: “Three extremely poor decisions – three penalties not given – which we simply cannot accept.

    “We warned the PGMOL that the VAR is a Luton fan before the game but they didn’t change him. Our patience has been tested multiple times. NFFC will now consider its options.”

    Clattenburg later wrote in a Daily Mail column: “One of these errors would have been bad enough. Three was a joke, and that is why Nottingham Forest were left feeling victimised after another defeat in which zero big decisions went their way.

    “In a season where they have had to endure some egregious refereeing, this trip to Everton was as grim a game as they have encountered since returning to the Premier League.”

    He added: “You will have seen the statement released by the club — how the PGMOL was contacted to warn that it was not appropriate for a Luton fan such as Attwell to play such a pivotal role in a massive match that would impact the relegation race.

    “Certainly, I would not have risked this situation if I were the head of the referees and all of this could have been avoided had the PGMOL simply made smarter appointments.

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    Clattenburg also spoke out last month after Forest’s defeat to Liverpool, when he highlighted that referee Paul Tierney had made an error in law by mistakenly handing possession back to Liverpool for a drop ball late in the game.

    On that occasion, the club were fined £75,000 for failing to control their players while first-team coach Steven Reid was fined and given a two-match touchline ban for his abusive behaviour towards Tierney.

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    Former Chelsea, Inter Milan and Real Madrid manager Mourinho returned to the Premier League with Tottenham in 2019 before taking charge at Roma, a role he left in January.

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    “There are a couple of players still there I didn’t want five or six years ago,” he said.

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  • Jurgen Klopp hopeful luck is on Liverpool’s side for Premier League finale Jurgen Klopp hopeful luck is on Liverpool’s side for Premier League finale

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    The Reds scored through Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ryan Gravenberch and Diogo Jota as they bounced back from Thursday’s Europa League exit to Atalanta and their Anfield defeat to Crystal Palace.

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