Ball or man – did Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk deserve to be sent off against Newcastle?

Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk leaves the pitch after being sent off against Newcastle in the Premier League in August 2023.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Liverpool captain Virgil van Dijk was furious at the match officials after he was sent off in the first half of the Reds' Premier League game at Newcastle on Sunday.

The Dutch defender saw red for a challenge on Newcastle attacker Alexander Isak, appearing to clip the Swede before he won the ball.

Just a couple of minutes earlier, Liverpool had gone behind to an Anthony Gordon goal at St. James' Park as Trent Alexander-Arnold failed to control a backwards pass from Mohamed Salah and the former Everton forward raced through to beat Alisson Becker.

Things then went from bad to worse as Van Dijk was dismissed and the Dutch defender could face a lengthy fan after initially refusing to leave the pitch and raging at the officials.

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Following his dismissal, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp sent on Joe Gomez in place of Luis Diaz, leaving just Cody Gakpo and Salah in attack.

If Newcastle hold on for the win, the Magpies will have six points from their three fixtures, two more than Liverpool.

More Liverpool stories

Liverpool transfer news is coming thick and fast as we enter the final few days of the summer window.

Jurgen Klopp has opened up about the club’s decision to launch a mega-money bid for Caicedo – but the Reds manager could be on his way out of Anfield sooner than anticipated. Meanwhile, Liverpool are targeting as many as four midfielders amid their struggles in the transfer market.

In our season preview of all 92 clubs, FourFourTwo discusses how Liverpool can get back to winning ways, with Salah proving pivotal in any future success this season. 

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