Everton keeper Jordan Pickford set to escape three-match ban for lunge on Van Dijk which 'ends Liverpool stars season'

JORDAN PICKFORD is set to escape a retrospective ban from the FA for his horror challenge on Virgil van Dijk in the Merseyside derby.

The Everton goalkeeper was slammed by fans and pundits alike for the tackle in Saturday's clash that has almost certainly ended the Reds defender's season.

It came moments after an offside had already been given, with the referee failing to punish the England international.

VAR reviewed the incident and decided Liverpool were not awarded a penalty because Van Dijk – who has damaged his anterior cruciate ligament – was in an offside position. 

And it is also said to have concluded that Pickford's tackle did not meet the threshold for a red card. 

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The FA’s retrospective ban policy extends only for red card offences that are not seen by match officials during the game, including the VAR, and Pickford’s was checked over.

Therefore the Toffees star will not be facing any disciplinary action for his challenge.

Liverpool have confirmed Van Dijk will undergo surgery and have not placed a timescale on his absence.

However, it seems almost certain the defender will be out of action for the rest of the campaign in what is a huge blow to the Reds’ title defence.

Anfield boss Jurgen Klopp said after the 2-2 draw at Goodison: “It is not good.

“Virg plays with pain and he never misses a game.  I do not know what it is but it does not look good.”

Sky Sports pundit Graeme Souness described the tackle as 'assault'.

Meanwhile, former Premier League midfielder Ryan Mason slammed it as a potential 'career-ender'.   

Liverpool travel to Ajax on Wednesday to kick-off their Champions League campaign.

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