'I saw a few tackles that had to be red' - Gini Wijnaldum critical of Everton tackles in Merseyside Derby
Liverpool midfielder Georgino Wijnaldum has said that Everton had crossed the line during Saturday's Merseyside Derby with the Dutch international inferring that the Toffees may have tried to injure some of Liverpool's players during the game.
Liverpool won the match 3-1, with goals from Philippe Coutinho and Divock Origi cancelling out Matthew Pennington's equaliser after Sadio Mane had broken the deadlock, but Wijnaldum feels that Everton were a bit too aggressive in their tackle attempts with Mane going off injured while Dejan Lovren and Emre Can both endured forceful challenges.
"The tackles, especially those from the players from Everton made on our players, it was hard to see, hard to accept, because I think you can play the game really hard, but not with the intention to give someone an injury," Wijnaldum told Sky Sports News on Monday.
"For me, my opinion, that is a bad thing, because you have to play the game fair. Of course you can play hard, to win, but not to injure the player, because that's not part of the game.
"I saw a few, even in the replay, I saw a few tackles that had to be red."
The win for Liverpool on Saturday pushed Jurgen Klopp's side up to third place in the Premier League, just three points behind second-placed Tottenham, who have a game in hand after their match with Crystal Palace last month was postponed due to Spurs FA Cup commitments.
The Reds have done well this season against teams in the top seven, as highlighted by Saturday's win in addition to wins over Arsenal and Tottenham in recent months, but they've also struggled against weaker opposition with losses to Leicester City and Hull in February.
Liverpool's mixed run of form has all but taken them out of title contention this season, but Wijnaldum feels that their losses to teams in the bottom half of the table just signifies the strength of the Premier League as a competition.
"We dropped a lot of points against teams who are not in the top seven. You can lose against anyone, they are all good opponents," the 26-year-old added.
"What we have to do is be sharp, be confident we can beat everyone, and try to win game-by-game."