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Everton boss Ancelotti: Pickford didn't seek to hurt Van Dijk - Virgil knows this

Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti has again defended Jordan Pickford after last week's clash with Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk.

Pickford controversially escaped punishment after VAR adjudged Van Dijk to be in an offside position, with the Reds star now facing several months on the sidelines.

The England goalkeeper has faced much criticism for the challenge, including being labelled "stupid" by Van Dijk's teammate for club and country Gini Wijnaldum.

But Ancelotti sprung to the defence of his shot-stopper.

"To be clear, we are really sorry for the injury of Virgil van Dijk," said the Everton boss. “Every one of us hopes he can recover soon and well.

“There was this contact with Jordan Pickford: it was mistimed contact. But the fact the Premier League is so fast, it is not so difficult to arrive a little bit later.

“Jordan arrived a little bit later but his intention was to try to reach the ball. It was not to hurt Virgil van Dijk. To say it was premeditated, and this and that, in my opinion, is too much.

"Virgil van Dijk knows this. Jordan is really sad, really disappointed (that he is injured). It was a strong contact, maybe mistimed, but sometimes in football it can happen."

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Paul Vegas

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