Liverpool given Virgil van Dijk boost despite red card v Newcastle United

Referee John Brooks sends off Liverpool's Dutch defender #04 Virgil van Dijk (2R) during the English Premier League football match between Newcastle United and Liverpool at St James' Park in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, north east England on August 27, 2023. (Photo by Lindsey Parnaby / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. /  (Photo by LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP via Getty Images)

Liverpool will be without Virgil van Dijk for next weekend’s Anfield meeting with Aston Villa after the Reds captain was sent off during Sunday’s Premier League clash at Newcastle United.

The central defender was shown a straight red card for bringing down Magpies striker Alexander Isak on the edge of the penalty area, with referee John Brooks ruling the Dutchman has denied a clear goal-scoring opportunity.

However, Van Dijk is likely to miss just one Liverpool game due to the nature of his sending off. Players are given a one-match suspension for a professional foul according to Premier League rules.

It is likely Van Dijk’s dismissal will be deemed as such rather than violent conduct with the Liverpool defender appearing to misjudge the challenge rather than lashing out deliberately or recklessly.

Alexis Mac Allister’s red card against Bournemouth, which was overturned on appeal to the FA, was deemed violet conduct initially meaning he would have been suspended for three games if the decision was not reversed.

Van Dijk waited for confirmation from VAR before leaving the pitch and was then pictured in heated discussion with Brooks before making his way down the tunnel.

There was no indication from the referee at the time that Van Dijk had committed an act of dissent, but if he is found to have committed an offence he could risk seeing his ban extended to two games.

Liverpool found themselves a goal down at St James’ Park after Trent Alexander-Arnold’s poor touch allowed Anthony Gordon a free run at Alisson Becker to put the hosts ahead. Van Dijk was then sent off just minutes later. It is the first time the defender has been sent off in his Liverpool career.

However, Darwin Nunez bagged his first goals of the season as Liverpool came from behind to dramatically claim all three points. The striker came on as a late substitute before firing two shots across Nick Pope, with the second coming deep into stoppage time.

Reacting to Van Dijk’s ban, Jurgen Klopp said: “There is no active contact from Virgil van Dijk. It is just going for the ball and on the way there, he made contact.

“For this contact, getting three [sic] games, oh my God, unbelievable. We will see. For today, it gave us the chance to create something really special. The boys put up a proper fight.”