Richarlison has lifted the lid on the ‘fight’ he had with Virgil van Dijk during Everton’s clash with Liverpool back in December 2018.
The bad-tempered Merseyside derby looked to be heading for a draw but Jordan Pickford horribly misjudged Van Dijk’s ballooned long-range effort at the death which allowed Divock Origi to secure all three points at Anfield.
It kick-started an eight-match winning streak for Liverpool in all competitions as Jurgen Klopp’s men went on to win the Champions League and finish second in the Premier League table behind Manchester City.
Everton were desperate to put a dent in Liverpool’s hopes of a first Premier League trophy in 30 years and Richarlison was prepared to use any tactics necessary to ruin their charge for the title.
‘Of course I was never going to back down,’ the Everton forward told Globo Esporte.
‘There was a disagreement during the game, which ended up in the typical heated way.
‘I was also having the fight to waste time, and the Liverpool players did not like it. Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joe Gomez tried to get involved.
‘But it was nothing out of the ordinary. In the whole fight we wasted five minutes, which was good for the team.
‘I said (to Van Dijk) in Portuguese: “Who do you think you are?”
‘They were defending their colours and we were defending ours, it was a typical derby.’
Just last month, Richarlison took aim at reigning PFA Player of the Year, Van Dijk, rubbishing claims the Dutchman was the best defender in world football.
‘People talk a lot about him, yes he is a great defender but I’ve already dribbled past him,’ the Brazilian told Desimpedidos.
‘He was chosen as one of the top three in the world as he had an excellent season. But yes, for me there are better defenders.’
Asked to name the defenders better than Van Dijk, Richarlison replied: ‘Thiago Silva, Marquinhos and Sergio Ramos.’
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