Wayne Rooney has told Virgil van Dijk and Liverpool ‘to get on with it’ as the Dutchman renewed the club’s complaints over facing yet another early kick-off following their Merseyside derby defeat.

Liverpool‘s title hopes went up in smoke at Goodison Park with Jarrad Branthwaite and Dominic Calvert-Lewin on target as Everton earned a 2-0 win on Wednesday night over their rivals.

The defeat leaves the Reds three points behind leaders Arsenal with four matches remaining, with a trip to West Ham on Saturday lunchtime up next. 

This prompted captain Van Dijk to address the perceived injustice during his post-match interview, but his words were met with little sympathy in the Sky Sports studio from the former Man United and Everton star Rooney.  

‘The worrying thing there – he’s the captain and we hear about Liverpool getting outfought – but again we are hearing about 12:30 kick-offs after he’s just lost a derby,’ he said. 

Liverpool captain Virgil van Dijk referenced the Reds facing another early kick-off on Saturday

Liverpool captain Virgil van Dijk referenced the Reds facing another early kick-off on Saturday

Liverpool captain Virgil van Dijk referenced the Reds facing another early kick-off on Saturday

Wayne Rooney slammed Van Dijk's comment as he insisted Liverpool had to 'get on with it'

Wayne Rooney slammed Van Dijk's comment as he insisted Liverpool had to 'get on with it'

Wayne Rooney slammed Van Dijk’s comment as he insisted Liverpool had to ‘get on with it’

[data-podcast-container] #embed-iframe-wrapper { min-height: 160px; } [data-podcast-container] header#podcast-container-header { transform: none !important; }

‘Those Liverpool players should be wanting to go tomorrow because when you lose a derby game you want the games to come quick. 

‘We’ve heard it so many times this season with Liverpool about 12.30 kick offs. Get on with it, that’s part of your job. They should be ready to play.’

The 38-year-old was responding to the Dutchman, who had brought up their West Ham arrangement after full-time at Goodison Park.

Speaking to Sky Sports after the game, Van Dijk said: ‘It’s time to focus on the 12:30 kick-off again.

‘These games are always a big fight and something that we shouldn’t have lost in my opinion. Now we have to pick ourselves up and be ready for an early kick-off Saturday.’

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp also warned the early kick-off against West Ham would be a difficult challenge.

‘We have to recover mentally and physically and then we have to go and play on Saturday at 12:30pm,’ he said.

‘That’s going to be a tricky turnaround, we all know that. But we have to make sure we are ready.’ 

Klopp has previously complained about the number of lunchtime matches his side have had this season in comparison to rivals. 

After the international break in November, Klopp slammed the decision to reschedule Liverpool’s visit to Manchester City from 5:30pm to the early kick-off slot.

‘How can you put a game like this on Saturday at 12.30pm?,’ he said.  

‘Honestly, the people making these decisions, they cannot feel football, it is just not possible. 

‘And it is the moment where the world pays the most to see a football game.’ 

Saturday’s fixture will be Liverpool’s fifth 12:30 kick-off of the season, with Klopp previously highlighting the challenge posed after midweek matches or players returning from international duty.

During his playing career, Rooney was himself critical of early kick-offs.

‘Just have to say 12 o’clock kick-off is no good for players,’ he tweeted in October 2011.

‘Trying to force pasta down at 9 in the morning is not nice.’ 

Van Dijk also conceded Liverpool’s already slim chances of winning the title would evaporate altogether with a repeat of the performance at Goodison Park. 

The Reds have now won just one of their last four Premier League outings, drawing at Old Trafford against Manchester United and losing at home to Crystal Palace over the past month. 

Jurgen Klopp previously complained about early kick-offs on Saturday after a midweek game

Jurgen Klopp previously complained about early kick-offs on Saturday after a midweek game

Jurgen Klopp previously complained about early kick-offs on Saturday after a midweek game

‘Listen, very disappointed in so many ways and I think everyone has to look in the mirror and look at their own performances and if they really gave everything and do they really want to win the league,’ Van Dijk told Sky Sports. 

‘We are fighting and still have games after tonight, but if we play like we did overall in the game like today, not winning challenges and giving the ref an opportunity to give free-kicks like he did many times, then we have no chance to win the title.

‘It’s a tough one and obviously we have to do much better against a side who is [fighting] against relegation

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