‘It could happen to any of us’: Ederson DEFENDS Jordan Pickford after tackle which injured Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk… with Manchester City goalkeeper insisting ‘that’s part of football… sometimes that happens’
- Jordan Pickford’s tackle on Virgil van Dijk last month was severely criticised
- The Liverpool centre back faces a season out of action after the ACL injury
- But Man City’s Ederson defended Pickford, saying ‘it could happen to any of us’
- Ederson compared the incident with Sadio Mane’s tackle on him in 2017
- City take on Premier League champions Liverpool at the Etihad on Sunday
Pickford rashly clattered the Liverpool centre back in the early stages of the Merseyside Derby on October 17, with the Dutchman consequently undergoing successful surgery on his ACL and likely to miss the rest of the season.
England keeper Pickford, who did not receive any punishment for the tackle on the day or retrospectively, was severely criticised in the aftermath of the incident but City keeper Ederson emphasised that injuries can happen when decisions are made in split-seconds on the pitch.
Manchester City keeper has defended Jordan Pickford after his tackle on Virgil van Dijk
The Everton man clattered into the Liverpool defender, who underwent ACL surgery last week
‘First and foremost, I don’t think any player steps on the pitch looking to injure an opponent,’ the Brazilian said, as reported by Goal, ahead of taking on Liverpool on Sunday.
‘Sometimes you have a fraction of a second to make a decision.
‘Unfortunately, Jordan Pickford had that clash with Van Dijk and it ended up resulting in a serious injury. That’s part of football… sometimes it happens.
‘It could happen to any of us.’
The Brazilian keeper also compared the incident to a collision between himself and Sadio Mane in September 2017, which resulted in the Reds forward being shown a red card.
The Brazilian goalkeeper compared the incident to when Sadio Mane tackled him in 2017
‘I don’t think it was Pickford’s intention to injure Van Dijk and in the same way I don’t think it was Mane’s intention to do that when he clashed with me in our game a few years ago,’ Ederson added.
‘You have such a short time to make a decision and it could happen to any of us.’
Reds midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum, also a team-mate of Van Dijk’s with Holland, branded Pickford’s tackle ‘stupid’ in the days that followed.
‘The way Pickford went into the challenge was completely, in my opinion, stupid,’ Wijnaldum said.
‘I believe that he didn’t want to injure Virgil the way he injured him but the way he took the tackle, he didn’t care about what happened after the tackle.
‘I think we had it a lot with the games against Everton. In my opinion, they take it way too far in the games we play against them.
Pickford was not punished on the day or retrospectively for the tackle on Van Dijk last month
‘We know it’s a derby and everyone wants to win the derby but they took it a little bit over the top.’
Meanwhile, Ederson will be in goal for Pep Guardiola’s side in the blockbuster clash against the Premier League champions at the Etihad on Sunday.
The two teams have been the pace-setters in the Premier League in the past three years, with City looking to reclaim the title after Liverpool’s first top-flight success in 30 years last season.