Virgil van Dijk has spoken out publicly for the first time regarding his red card in Liverpool’s recent 2-1 win at Newcastle.
The Reds came from behind to triumph at St James’ Park despite being a player down for just over an hour after the Dutchman was sent off for a foul on Alexander Isak which was adjudged to be denying a clear goalscoring opportunity, his first time being dismissed in 225 games for the club (Transfermarkt).
The 32-year-old’s ire over the decision from John Brooks was clear to be seen in both his immediate reaction on the pitch and then on the touchline as he made his way off, with the LFC captain facing an extended ban after being hit with a charge of improper conduct from the FA (The Mirror).
Van Dijk missed last weekend’s win at Aston Villa through suspension but returned to action for Netherlands in their Euro 2024 qualifying win over Greece last night, and while on international duty he broke his public silence on the red card on Tyneside.
The defender reflected (via The Mirror): “That was not typical for me but that was the red card anyway. I’ve never got one before at Liverpool, and I think only about four times in my entire career. But apart from that I still started the season well.
“I feel good and strong. I think it went well against Chelsea and Bournemouth. Despite the red card, the start was fine. I cannot wait to return.”
On initial viewing of the red card incident, it looked as if Van Dijk had got the ball first, but subsequent replays showed that he indeed caught Isak, so ultimately the officials arrived at the correct decision.
Unfortunately, the Liverpool captain is still in limbo at club level as he awaits the prospect of further punishment owing to his reaction in the Newcastle game. He could be in line to see his suspension extended for another match, which’d rule him out of the trip to Wolves on 16 September (The Mirror).
His frustration at the time would’ve been understandable, but sadly we wouldn’t be surprised to see him banned for the game at Molineux, with the authorities set to take a hardline stance on players and managers deemed to be showing a lack of respect to referees and officials.
The hope is obviously that Van Dijk’s ban has already been served and he can play against Gary O’Neil’s side, but Jurgen Klopp would probably wish for a verdict to be issued promptly so that he can plan accordingly for the visit to the Midlands in eight days’ time.
Thankfully Liverpool haven’t suffered in the Dutchman’s absence, winning against Newcastle and Aston Villa without him to call upon, but we’d love to see him back for the Wolves match, and we hope the FA won’t delay their decision on the length of his suspension for much longer.