Sky Sports pundits Jamie Carragher and Shay Given disagreed over the decision to send off Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk against Newcastle United at St James’ Park on Sunday.
The Dutchman brought down Alexander Isak on the edge of the penalty area just minutes after Trent Alexander-Arnold’s mistimed touch had allowed Anthony Gordon to burst clear and slot home.
Former Liverpool defender Carragher and ex-Newcastle goalkeeper Given were in the Sky Sports studio for the game, but the pair had differing views on the decision by John Brooks to dismiss Van Dijk.
Carragher felt it was the wrong call, arguing: “Virgil van Dijk does a lot wrong here. He’s lazy initially in terms of not getting across, the decision to make a challenge is ill-advised - but I still don’t believe that’s a red card. I don’t think there’s enough there. How do you know that’s a goalscoring opportunity?
“I think he’s lazy, he should get over earlier, he should not really make the challenge but that is not a red card.”
Meanwhile, Given countered: “I disagree, I think it’s the right decision. It’s a red card because Isak is a centre forward and he’s trying to let the ball run across him and he’s through one-on-one with Alisson and he’s denied a goalscoring opportunity.”
Van Dijk is likely to miss just one game for Liverpool, with red cards for professional fouls carrying a one-game ban compared to a three-match suspension for violent conduct. Liverpool’s next fixture is at home to Aston Villa on Sunday.
Former Scotland winger Pat Nevin said on BBC Radio 5 Live: “Virgil van Dijk got too close. The first look at it from a distance away looked like a red card. That is a big, big call. They have had a lot of looks at it, that’s what VAR is for and he’s not even had a look.”