The match between Newcastle and Liverpool has been marked by its fiery nature and a series of controversial decisions that have added to the tension.
The drama began early in the game when referee John Brooks issued a yellow card to Trent Alexander-Arnold in the 6th minute for his frustration-driven act of throwing the ball away.
The right-back was fortunate to escape a possible second yellow just moments later for a challenge, which raised eyebrows.
However, the game’s pivotal moment came when Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk was shown a red card following a challenge on Newcastle’s Isak.
The decision sparked immediate outrage from the Liverpool players who deemed the punishment excessively severe.
In partiuclar Van Dijk was seen absolutely raging as he was told to walk off. As he was leaving the pitch, he engaged in a heated exchange with the fourth official. A video captured him appearing to tell the official, “F**k off, do not touch me.”
This furious reaction from Van Dijk could potentially lead to further disciplinary action from the FA, potentially resulting in an extended ban and/or a fine.
Explaining the FA’s decision to bring in harsher sanctions, FA chief executive Mark Bullingham, said: “Football has the power to unite and inspire all those that play and watch the game. However, sometimes, this can be negatively impacted by a small minority of players, coaches and fans.
A new ‘Participant Charter’ empowers match officials to take tougher action against unacceptable behaviour, while the FA is expected to back up decisions with further disciplinary penalties including bans and fines. After bringing down Alexander Isak to deny a clear goalscoring opportunity at St James’ Park this afternoon, Van Dijk was sent off but took a very long time to leave the pitch as he protested the decision.The Dutchman bellowed at Brooks before continuing to shout at the fourth official as he walked off the field of play. Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp then appeared to intervene by gently pushing his skipper down the tunnel in order to prevent him from getting into further trouble.
However, the damage may already be done if the FA deem that his behaviour is worthy of an extended ban. As a result, Van Dijk could miss Liverpool’s away fixture against Tottenham on September 30 as well as the Reds’ next three games against Aston Villa, Wolves and West Ham.