The referee’s audio has been released following Virgil van Dijk’s red card at Newcastle, while Liverpool has been handed a major advantage in the Europa League.

Having made an unbeaten start to the season and with plenty of momentum behind it after easing to victory over Aston Villa, Liverpool’s campaign is brought to a screeching halt by the international break this weekend.

Of course, Jürgen Klopp will hope the week out of action won’t prove to be too big a distraction for his players, and it does provide more recovery time for the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Thiago Alcântara and Ibrahima Konaté.

There’s no doubt though that Liverpool fans would much prefer to see their side in action again this weekend, but will be forced to wait another seven days before the trip to Wolves.

By then, we should know whether Virgil van Dijk will be able to return, or whether his suspension will have been extended after audio was released of his sending-off at Newcastle.

With or without Van Dijk though, Liverpool’s season is now in full flow, and it won’t be long until the Europa League campaign gets underway, with Klopp having already been handed a major advantage.

What Virgil van Dijk was told by referee during red card

While Liverpool has already enjoyed an unforgettable game this season following the 2-1 win at Newcastle, the victory was slightly marred by the sending-off of Virgil van Dijk. The Reds captain was shown a straight red card after fouling Alexander Isak on the edge of the penalty area, with the incident sparking debate among fans and experts.

Audio recordings of the match officials at St James’ Park discussing the incident have now been released as part of Sky Sports’ “Match Officials: Mic’d Up” show. The discussion between referee John Brooks and Stuart Attwell, who was in charge of VAR for the match, shows how the former was backed up in his assessment that Van Dijk should be sent off for denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity.

The decision has been supported by former referee Howard Webb, who said: “We think it is a good communication of a foul by John Brooks and we see in the end Van Dijk does play the ball but, to get there, he clearly kicks through the foot of Isak and it denies a goalscoring opportunity.”

Jürgen Klopp can use UEFA advantage for Premier League gain

Qualifying for the Europa League has added a degree of uncertainty for Liverpool this season, not least because the competition usually brings with it some added traveling for sides. The group stage draw though has been kind to the Reds in that respect, with LASK, Union Saint-Gilloise and Toulouse, meaning relatively short trips to Austria, Belgium and France are on the cards.

In fact, only Slavia Prague and Union Saint-Gilloise have less traveling to do during the first round of the competition, and it’s an advantage that Jürgen Klopp must make the most of.

Among the Premier League games scheduled directly after their trips across Europe is a home fixture against Manchester United. Klopp will no doubt be pleased he doesn’t have a journey to Azerbaijan, Israel or Cyprus to contend with before that particular game.


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