Virgil van Dijk slammed Joris Gnagnon after the Sevilla man’s horror challenge on Yasser Larouci marred Liverpool’s pre-season friendly in Boston.
Gnagnon was sent off in the second half of his side’s 2-1 win at Fenway Park after a crude, pre-meditated kick at 18-year-old Larouci.
The Liverpool youngster was carried from the field, and later left the stadium on crutches with his right leg in a brace. Reds staff are optimistic the damage is not as bad as it might have been, with Jurgen Klopp suggesting Larouci had been lucky to avoid serious injury.
Gnagnon took to Twitter to issue an apology, while Sevilla also sent a message wishing Larouci a full and speedy recovery.
Van Dijk had confronted Gnagnon at the final whistle, and speaking to Goal afterwards, the Dutchman was unimpressed by what he had seen.
“I saw it from the side, it’s not nice,” he said. “Especially when it happens against such a young guy who is playing pretty well this season. I think it says something about him.
“You have to just deal with it, but obviously you don’t want to have injuries in a game like this. You want to get fit, you want to get back to your best. Obviously everyone wants to win the game, but the most important thing is to get fit. Hopefully for Yasser it is not that bad.”
The game had been a bad-tempered one throughout, with Klopp angered by a number of questionable challenges in the first half. The Reds boss made his feelings clear to Sevilla manager Julen Lopetegui at half-time, after Harry Wilson had been left with a facial injury following a clash with Ever Banega.
A late Alejandro Pozo goal settled the game, with Divock Origi having earlier cancelled out Nolito’s opener, as Liverpool suffered their second defeat in the space of 48 hours.
“Obviously it’s very hard,” said Van Dijk, who played 45 minutes as he steps up his own pre-season campaign. “But each day it gets better, and that’s the positive thing.
“Obviously the conditions are hard, the opponents are tough. But it’s all good, it will all make us stronger, so let’s just enjoy these last few days in America and then we go to Scotland [to play Napoli].”
Liverpool are next in action on Wednesday, when they take on Sporting Lisbon in New York’s Yankee Stadium.