With the standard of refereeing in the spotlight more than ever, it was inevitable there would be a controversial moment during Newcastle’s Premier League clash with Liverpool.
So would it be the home side or the away side feeling aggrieved?
Sadly for Liverpool supporters, who had just witnessed Trent Alexander-Arnold commit a defensive howler to allow Anthony Gordon to hand Newcastle the lead, it was their side on the wrong end of another red card.
This time captain Virgil van Dijk, for cleaning out the ankle of Alexander Isak en route to sweeping the ball away from the Swedish forward.
Did Van Dijk make contact with Isak first? Absolutely. Was it worthy of a free-kick? Definitely. Did it warrant the Dutchman being sent off for a professional foul? By the letter of the law, yes. Are their examples of not that not being a red card offence? Also yes.
As always, referee John Brooks’ decision was the hot topic on everybody’s favourite social media platform, X, with many Liverpool supporters, neutrals and general observers split over whether or not Van Dijk deserved his marching orders.
Here’s the best of the initial reaction…
Van Dijk loses his cool
The other major talking point was Van Dijk’s reaction to being sent off. He was absolutely flabberghasted that a foul was given, let alone a red card.
VAR had a quick check, confirmed to Brooks that the decision stood, and that led to Van Dijk losing his rag with the official big time. More respect for referees and transparency? There’s a long way to go before that bridge is even designed…
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