Premier League

Ancelotti apologises to Liverpool for Van Dijk injury

The Liverpool defender will miss most of the season after a collision with Jordan Pickford in the Merseyside derby

 
2:47pm on Thursday 22nd October 2020
By
Martin Macdonald

Carlo Ancelotti has apologised for the injury suffered by Virgil van Dijk in the Merseyside derby.

Shortly into the fiery encounter, the Dutchman collided with goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, with the Everton goalkeeper coming storming off his line with both legs lifted into the air.

The impact caught Van Dijk on the knee, causing it to slightly invert, putting him out for the foreseeable future.

Both Jurgen Klopp and a host of Liverpool players condemned the tackle, with Gini Wijnaldum calling it "stupid" and accusing Everton of constantly taking things "too far" when the city rivals play each other.

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Now Ancelotti has responded, and insists he is sorry for the incident.

"To be clear, we are really sorry for the injury of Virgil van Dijk," the Everton boss said on Thursday.

"Every one of us hopes he can recover soon and well."

Ancelotti did defend the actions of Pickford, though, saying the tackle was mistimed rather than malicious, which is the way it is being portrayed in some sections of the media.

"There was this contact with Jordan Pickford: it was mistimed contact," Ancelotti continued.

"But the fact the Premier League is so fast, it is not so difficult to arrive a little bit later.

"Jordan arrived a little bit later but his intention was to try to reach the ball. It was not to hurt Virgil van Dijk.

"To say it was premeditated, and this and that, in my opinion, is too much. Virgil van Dijk knows this.

"Jordan is really sad, really disappointed [that Van Dijk is injured]. It was a strong contact, maybe mistimed, but sometimes in football it can happen."

Liverpool had their first game without Van Dijk on Wednesday but managed to keep a clean sheet in the Champions League versus Ajax in a match they won 1-0.

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