Sport Wijnaldum slams 'unacceptable' Everton after Van Dijk injury
Campbell questions whether Liverpool's van Dijk is becoming complacent
Van Dijk's outstanding performances in recent seasons have seen him establish himself as one of the best players in the world. However, he was part of the Liverpool side that lost 7-2 to Aston Villa.Van Dijk's outstanding performances in recent seasons have seen him establish himself as one of the best players in the world.
Liverpool's Georginio Wijnaldum has blasted Everton's conduct as "completely unacceptable" following injuries to Virgil van Dijk and Thiago Alcantara sustained in Saturday's Merseyside derby.
Van Dijk is likely to miss most of the campaign after suffering anterior cruciate ligament damage following a wild challenge from Jordan Pickford in the 2-2 draw at Goodison Park.
With Van Dijk having been flagged offside, Everton's goalkeeper did not receive any punishment for the tackle, while the Football Association confirmed on Monday that Pickford would not face retrospective action.
Carragher: Liverpool need January signing after Van Dijk blow
Reds legend Jamie Carragher says Jurgen Klopp needs reinforcements after Virgil van Dijk suffered a serious knee injury against Everton.The Dutchman was forced off during the first half of the Reds' 2-2 draw with Merseyside rivals Everton as a result of a late challenge from goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.
Premier League leaders Everton did subsequently have a player sent off, with Richarlison seeing red for a lunge on Thiago late on, and the former Bayern Munich star has not made the trip to Amsterdam to face Ajax in the Champions League.
Richarlison's red card was the 22nd sending off in a Merseyside derby in the Premier League era, with the Toffees having had 15 players dismissed.
The incidents left a sour taste for Wijnaldum, with the Dutchman believing Everton – who had four players carded on Saturday compared to Liverpool's two – have a track record of being too robust in derbies.
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"Of course we are upset. The way Pickford went in was completely stupid," he said.
'I'll be back': Virgil van Dijk speaks out after serious injury
The Liverpool and Dutch international defender has vowed to come back better than ever before after Liverpool confirmed the defender needs knee ligament surgery following his injury at Everton. The centre-back collided with Toffees goalkeeper Jordan Pickford just six minutes into the Merseyside Derby on Saturday afternoon, though the England shot stopper was not punished for what looked like a reckless challenge. In a statement on Sunday, the Premier League champions did not set a return date for van Dijk, though it is feared the centre-back could be ruled out for most of the current season.
"I believe he didn't want to injure Virgil, but the way he took the tackle, he didn't care. I think we've had it a lot in the games against Everton.
"In my opinion, they take it way too far in the games we play against them. Sometimes you go a little over the top, but this was too much.
"We can talk about the tackle from Richarlison, it was also a nasty one. That's what bothered me the most. Accidents can always happen, you can be unlucky, but the way they were doing it was completely unacceptable. It makes it harder that they don't get punished."
While Richarlison issued an apology for his tackle on Thiago, it was confirmed on Sunday that Van Dijk will require surgery and Wijnaldum acknowledged that the squad are hugely concerned for their star defender.
"First of all we're still devastated, it's also different than normal. The way it happened is really hard for us," he added.
"Everyone has a really bad feeling about it. When we were speaking with the players after Saturday I think none of the players slept because of what happened with Virgil. It's a really hard one to take.
"People will say that because Virgil is really important part of our team. He had really big performances, a really important player for us, a leader.
"It's quite normal people will say that, but it's up to us. It's a situation we didn't deal with before, but it's what we have to deal with. Everyone can see what kind of impact he's had."
Ancelotti: New Everton spirit key to success .
Carlo Ancelotti is hopeful Everton's renewed "atmosphere and spirit" this season can provide the club with the springboard for a European return. The Toffees will put their unbeaten start to the Premier League season on the line when they visit Southampton as league leaders on Super Sunday.But Ancelotti says his side will keep their feet on the ground as they look to return to European competition three years after exiting the 2017/18 Europa League at the group stages.