The derby between Everton and Liverpool received a lot of hype today and rightfully so, while the action on the pitch more than lived up to it.
There were so many talking points and unfortunately they do centre around some refereeing decisions, while you can completely see why Liverpool fans will not be happy this afternoon.
The offside call is very harsh and different angles show different things, but that is one example where it’s a black and white decision so we do need to trust the technology to get it right.
An earlier incident involving Jordan Pickford and Virgil van Dijk was much more egregious, and it’s not any exaggeration to say that challenges like this can take years off a career:
"He could have easily been sent off."
"I'm very surprised it's just been forgotten about?"
Jordan Pickford's challenge on Virgil van Dijk did not look good ?
Should VAR have stepped in after this? pic.twitter.com/wTcW6CHcIf
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) October 17, 2020
Obviously the offside flag doesn’t overrule everything or we would see players thumping each other as soon as the flag goes up, so it’s hard to see why further action wasn’t taken here.
To get some official confirmation we spoke to former Premier League ref and PGMOL boss Keith Hackett, and he’s pretty unequivocal with his opinion:
“This is a clear red card offence and Pickford should have been sent off. The fact that an offside offence has been committed is immaterial.”
“There are suggestions that we should ignore the incident because of the offside flag but that is absolutely not the case.”
“What if Jordan Pickford had broken his leg or thrown a punch, are we saying that’s acceptable? Absolutely not!”
This probably won’t come as a surprise to many and it’s a curious situation, because the suggestions on the BT Sport broadcast seemed to indicate the officials were purely focussing on the offside call.
It looks like they were simply trying to decide if a penalty should’ve been given without taking the severity of the tackle into account, and it’s sad to say they’ve got this one very wrong.