Jurgen Klopp has revealed that Virgil van Dijk’s injury does not look ‘not good’, after the Dutchman was forced to leave the pitch early in the first half during Liverpool’s 2-2 draw with rivals Everton.
The Reds’ talisman was on the receiving end of a horror challenge by goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, who threw himself into the centre-back’s path when in on goal. Pickford collided nastily with the Netherlands star’s knee, and he was only spared from conceding a penalty by a belated offside flag.
Despite being overlooked by the officials Van Dijk, however, was substituted on 11 minutes. The defender limped off the field with an injury to his leg, and although he did not require a stretcher, it appears that the Reds are expecting bad news.
After the game, Klopp admitted that ‘it’s not good’, concerned by the fact that the 29-year-old, who usually plays through the pain barrier, was unable to soldier on in a bad-tempered Merseyside derby.
“It’s not good. Virgil plays with pain but he couldn’t play on. Not good,” Klopp confirmed in his press conference, as reported by The Athletic’s James Pearce. “It is not a challenge the keeper can do.”
Elsewhere in his post-match comments Klopp added: “Pickford kicks him completely. I need to watch it back. I’ve seen the disallowed goal at the end and in the picture I saw it wasn’t offside. Can someone explain that to me?”
Journalist Paul Joyce confirmed that both Van Dijk and Thiago had gone for scans on ‘suspected knee injuries’ straight after the game.
The controversial dropped points and potential injuries could add further strain to Liverpool’s early title defence. The Reds are already having to cope without goalkeeper Alisson Becker, who could miss several more weeks of action. Replacement shot-stopper Adrian has been far from convincing since stepping into the Brazilian’s shoes, and he will be disappointed with the part he played in the Reds’ 2-2 draw on Saturday afternoon.
Liverpool took the lead against rivals Everton through Sadio Mane, but they were pegged back when Michael Keane rose to meet a James Rodriguez corner. The defender’s header was powerful, but Adrian could have done better in keeping it out of the net.
Klopp’s men appeared far less assured following Van Dijk’s departure against the Toffees, and the German coach will be worried over his side’s defensive abilities in the coming weeks, with a clash against Manchester City on the horizon.