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‘Completely stupid’ – Georginio Wijnaldum hits out at Jordan Pickford

The Dutchman clearly wasn’t impressed.

Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum has offered a brutally frank assessment of Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford’s horror challenge on Virgil van Dijk during Saturday’s Merseyside derby.

Pickford avoided punishment despite upending Van Dijk, leaving the Dutchman facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines with damage to his anterior cruciate ligament.

The match at Goodison Park finished 2-2 with Everton’s Richarlison receiving a late red card for a lunge on Reds midfielder Thiago Alcantara.

Pickford

Speaking ahead of Liverpool’s Champions League opener against Ajax, Wijnaldum was evidently unimpressed as he discussed the Pickford incident.

“The way Pickford went in was completely stupid in my opinion,” said the 29-year-old.

“I don’t believe he wanted to injure Virgil but the way he made the tackle he didn’t care about what happened after the tackle. It’s happened a lot in games against Everton.”

Wijnaldum believes Pickford’s rash challenge fits a pattern when Liverpool meet Everton, claiming that the Toffees’ approach to the game was ‘completely unacceptable’.

Pickford

“In my opinion, they take it too far in the games we play against them.

“I know it’s a derby and sometimes it goes over the top but it was too much. It was not the only tackle like that. Richarlison on Thiago was also a nasty one. That’s what annoys me the most.

“Accidents can always happen in football. You can be unlucky and injure someone but the way they were doing it was completely unacceptable.

“It makes it even harder when they don’t get punished, in this case Pickford.”

Pickford

Wijnaldum’s sentiments were echoed by Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, who said neither Pickford nor Richarlison attempted to win the ball against Van Dijk and Thiago.

“A couple of days ago something happened which should not have happened in a football game,” said Klopp.

“Both challenges were difficult to accept. It’s hard for us because Virgil is our boy. Usually, players try to play the ball but not in these two challenges.

“In the last four years, we were the leader of the fair play table. We don’t get anything for that, it’s something people joke about.

“We were up there in both tables. You can play football without these kind of challenges.”

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