VAR David Coote ‘didn’t know he could send Jordan Pickford off’ in derby gaffe

David Coote, who was the VAR for the controversial Merseyside derby on Sunday, reportedly did not know he could send off Jordan Pickford for his horror lunge on Virgil van Dijk.

Van Dijk suffered a potentially season-ending injury after Pickford's two-footed foul on the Dutchman, but the Everton goalkeeper did not face any action.

Former Southampton defender Van Dijk was in an offside position, clarified by VAR, and – according to the Daily Mail – Coote therefore thought he couldn't recommend a red card to referee Michael Oliver.

Van Dijk suffered knee ligament damage and will now undergo surgery before months of rehab.

In a tempestuous affair, Everton did go down to 10 men late in proceedings when Richarlison was given his marching orders for another reckless tackle on Thiago Alcantara.

And furious Liverpool were denied a late winner by the barest of margins when Jordan Henderson's stoppage-time strike was ruled out by Coote for a marginal offside against Sadio Mane.

A livid Jurgen Klopp said after the 2-2 draw: "With the injury of Virgil van Dijk, that's pretty early in the game.

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"I didn't see it back but it took a while so obviously it was not too big, the offside. Then Pickford kicks him completely.

"I didn't see it back, so you maybe can say more about this.

"The only decision I saw back was now, only briefly in the dressing room, the Henderson goal and the pass for Sadio, and I didn't see offside, sorry.

"Maybe somebody can explain it to me because the picture I saw was not offside.

"But it was offside because somebody decided it was."

Pickford will also escape any retrospective punishment as the officials saw the incident at the time.

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