Frank Lampard claimed Virgil van Dijk should have been sent off for serious foul play as Everton and Liverpool drew for the ninth time in 12 Premier League games at Goodison Park.
The Liverpool defender was only booked for a 76th minute foul that caught Everton midfielder Amadou Onana high on the shin. VAR, having earlier ruled out a Conor Coady goal against his boyhood club for offside, did not advise the referee Anthony Taylor to review his original decision, to the bewilderment of the Everton manager.
Lampard said: “I have heard a lot this week, the insinuation about my players time-wasting at Leeds, and there were some other things last year that were negative, other decisions we were on the wrong end of. I love Van Dijk, as a player he is fantastic, but sometimes you mistime tackles. It was up on Amadou’s shin and Amadou’s foot was on the ground. I’m surprised it hasn’t gone to VAR and they haven’t asked the ref to go and look at it and make the correct decision.
“It doesn’t matter now, but for me it was a red and that changes the face of the last 20 minutes. There was some talk before this game about bad tackles and the referee just has a job to do, and so does VAR. I think they got that one wrong in my opinion.”
The Everton manager described the derby as “a great game and a great performance” from his team, with Jordan Pickford thwarting Liverpool with a string of excellent saves.
“He was absolutely superb,” said Lampard. “His save from Núñez in the first half, when we were as comfortable as you can be against Liverpool, and a lot of his saves in the second half were world-class. When he plays like that everyone understands why he is England’s No 1.”
A sour note from the derby came in the aftermath of Coady’s disallowed goal. A plastic bottle of water was thrown from the top balcony of the Main Stand towards Jürgen Klopp.
The perpetrator was given a stadium ban on the spot. Everton will cooperate with Merseyside police should they decide to take the matter further. The Liverpool manager said: “I didn’t see it at the time, but I’ve seen it now, because it’s still at ‘the crime scene’. I thought it was a glass bottle and that would have been really dangerous. It was not. It was plastic.”On the game itself, which saw Liverpool drop points for the fourth time in six games this season, Klopp added: “It’s a big fight that everybody expects from both teams. We didn’t play extremely well, but we created enough. Top chances, but we just didn’t use them. The first rule of derbies is, if you can’t win the derby, don’t lose it.”