Former Premier League referee explains why Anthony Taylor was right to show Virgil van Dijk yellow rather than red for Amadou Onana challenge

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Former Premier League referee Chris Foy has praised the performance of Anthony Taylor during the Merseyside derby and insists that the official made the correct decision to show Virgil van Dijk a yellow card rather than a red for a challenge on Amadou Onana.

The central defender did appear to catch the former Lille midfielder rather high with his studs but VAR reviewed the incident and decided to stick with the on-field decision.

The Everton man took to Instagram following the game to express his disgust at the decision but Foy has praised the referee and explained why the Dutchman wasn’t dismissed.

“Anthony Taylor had an excellent Merseyside derby and he was absolutely right to show the yellow card to Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk for his challenge on Amadou Onana,” Foy wrote in his column for the Daily Mail.

“Taylor was in close proximity to the incident, perfectly positioned, and adjudged the challenge reckless and worthy of a caution.

“It would have been checked by the VAR who was within his rights to upgrade had he wanted to, but instead agreed with the onfield referee’s decision. 

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“For the challenge to be deemed dangerous and worthy of a red you have to look at speed and intensity of challenge, use of excessive force, and there was none of that. It was reckless.”

Although two wrongs don’t make a right, when you consider the fact that Jordan Pickford wasn’t red carded for his disgusting season-ending tackle on van Dijk back in 2020 during the same fixture, Everton fans can’t really have any complaints.

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It was mis-timed by our No. 4 but there was no intent to hurt Onana and it would’ve been rather harsh for van Dijk to have been sent off for the challenge.

There have been a number of questionable VAR decisions recently but thankfully they decided not to intervene on this occasion, and rightly so.

You’ve got to expect some feisty challenges in huge fixtures like this one so fair pay to Taylor for not overreacting.

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