Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk couldn't contain his frustration after receiving a red card against Newcastle United on Sunday.
The incident, caught on television cameras at St James' Park, showed Van Dijk unleashing an X-rated rant directed at the referee before giving both barrels to the fourth official. Van Dijk was sent off in the first half for a foul on Newcastle forward Alexander Isak, who was about to go one-on-one with Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson.
Referee John Brooks didn't hesitate to show the straight red card, but Van Dijk vehemently disagreed with the decision and made his feelings known to the official. The Reds captain was seen telling Brooks that the call was a "f***ing joke", reports the Mirror.
The Dutch international continued to remonstrate with fourth official Craig Pawson until Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp intervened and Van Dijk eventually made his way back to the dressing room. The visitors, when went on to win the game 2-1, could count themselves fortunate that they were only reduced to 10 men instead of nine.
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Right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold received an booking for throwing the ball away and was lucky not to receive a second yellow for a foul on Anthony Gordon, who scored Newcastle's goal. Former Manchester United full-back Gary Neville, who was on punditry duty for Sky Sports, said the England international was fortunate to stay on the pitch.
"Trent steps out to the left and puts his arm out across Gordon," he explained on co-commentary duty. "He's lucky. Would Klopp think about substituting him? It's cauldron out there. He has sent out [Joe] Gomez to warm up. I'm not surprised at all. It must be a serious consideration."
However, with Liverpool already down to 10 men, winger Luis Diaz was sacrificed instead, much to the Colombia star's dismay. Opinions were divided on the decision to send Van Dijk off.
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Ex-Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher believed that it was the wrong call and argued that there wasn't enough in the challenge to warrant a red card. He said: "Virgil van Dijk does a lot wrong here; he's lazy initially in terms of not getting across. The decision to then go and make the challenge is probably ill-advised, but I still don't believe that's a red card. I don't believe there's enough there.
"How do you know that's a goalscoring opportunity? I think initially he's lazy, he should not maybe make the challenge, but that is not a red card."
Klopp's side went on to take all three points in a dramatic comeback, with Darwin Nunez scoring twice. The substitute equalised in the 81st minute before grabbing the winner three minutes into added time.
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