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Did Virgil van Dijk deserve a red card for his tackle on Dries Mertens?

The forceful challenge from the centre-back has split opinion

The country hasn’t been this divided since Brexit.

Liverpool’s all important Champions League clash with Napoli has everyone arguing over a particular Virgil van Dijk challenge.

The Dutch defender was adjudged to have fouled Dries Mertens midway through the first-half but everyone seems to have a different opinion on the tackle.


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The tackle in question

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The tackle in question

Van Dijk slid in to try and win the ball from the Napoli man with a challenge that on first view looked perfectly legal.

On closer inspection however, it appears that the defender caught Mertens’ ankle and led with his studs high.

The Liverpool man was booked for the tackle much to his disbelief and also the astonishment of the Anfield faithful.

A rare blot on the Dutchman’s copy book

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A rare blot on the Dutchman’s copy book

BT Sport commentator Steve McManaman was incensed by the decision of referee Damir Skomina and insisted that the tackle shouldn’t have even been a booking.

The yellow card means that should Liverpool progress to the knockout stages, Van Dijk will miss the first leg of their last 16 clash.

Some fans believe that Van Dijk was lucky to escape without being shown a red card, whereas others think there was nothing wrong with the challenge at all.

Can Van Dijk consider himself lucky?


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