Virgil van Dijk incident branded a “joke” after Liverpool star escaped red card

Matt Hobkinson
Virgil van Dijk

Sheffield United fans have labeled the decision not to award Virgil van Dijk a red card during Liverpool’s 3-1 win over the Blades in the Premier League as a “joke.”

Van Dijk was jostling with Sheffield United defender Auston Trusty during a set-piece in the second-half of a tense game at Anfield with the scores level at 1-1 in the 71st minute.

As the pair grappled with one another, Van Dijk raised his hands to Trusty’s neck and pushed the Blades defender to the ground. The referee did not award a foul at the time and the VAR did not intervene following the incident.

Liverpool went on to win the game 3-1, but fans of Sheffield United and Liverpool’s rivals were quick to point to the incident on social media over what they saw as Jurgen Klopp’s side escaping a possible red card.

“This is beyond a joke now,” one fan wrote on X (formerly known as Twitter) after seeing a clip of the incident. “It’s a joke how Van Dijk gets away with this,” added another.

A third wrote: “Conveniently glossed over that Van Dijk should have had a red card and three game ban for chokeslamming Trusty last night.”

Manchester United fans were also quick to point out that their own player, Casemiro, was shown a red card for putting his hands around Will Hughes’ throat during their 2-1 win over Crystal Palace last season.

Liverpool fans also had their own complaints with VAR, after they claimed that William Osula should have been shown a straight red card for a tackle on Ibrahima Konate in the 66th minute.

Despite being pegged back at 1-1, an Alexis Mac Allister rocket from the edge of the area put the hosts ahead in 76th minute, before Cody Gakpo headed in a third to wrap up the three points for Liverpool in the 90th minute.

The result ensured that Liverpool remain two points clear of Arsenal at the top of the Premier League with just eight games left to play. Man City are also firmly in the hunt in third, three points behind Klopp’s side.