Liverpool won 2-1 against Crystal Palace on Saturday - but it was a terrible performance. The Reds struggled badly for 76 minutes before turning things around to score two late goals and essentially steal three points.
It's no coincidence that 76 minutes is also when Palace went down to 10 men. Jordan Ayew received a second yellow card for deliberately stopping a counter-attack with a foul on Harvey Elliott. With that, the momentum shifted dramatically to Liverpool and equalised within two minutes of the card.
Palace boss Roy Hodgson actually had criticism for a Liverpool player as a result of the card, though. He publicly called out Virgil van Dijk for getting Ayew his first yellow for a block on the Dutchman.
Van Dijk tried to restart the game but Ayew wasn't moving away properly. The Liverpool captain kicked the ball against him to demonstrate that and the referee promptly booked the Palace man.
Hodgson, however, feels this showed a lack of integrity on Van Dijk's part.
“Van Dijk took the opportunity to get him the first yellow card from two yards away that’s very disappointing,” he told TNT Sports.
“I think if you’re Liverpool Football Club, you don’t need players of Van Dijk’s quality and status in the game to try and get a player a yellow card by just kicking the ball against him.”
Hodgson is directing his anger at the wrong person here. Van Dijk was well within his right to do what he did - it happens all the time and Ayew knows the rules.
Ayew also knew the rules when he tripped Elliott as the midfielder attempted to continue a counter-attack. It's frankly bizarre that it didn't occur to him that he'd get a second yellow for it.
That incompetence cost Palace the game. Van Dijk didn't come into it.