Liverpool have confirmed Virgil van Dijk has damaged ligaments in his knee and is likely to miss most of the rest of the season.

The Netherlands international is set to undergo surgery on an injury sustained in the first half of the 2-2 Merseyside derby draw following a challenge by Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.

The Reds were leading 1-0 thanks to a goal from Sadio Mane after two minutes and 15 seconds at Goodison Park, the fastest scored in this fixture in the Premier League era.

Barely three minutes later, Fabinho looped the ball into the Everton penalty area towards Van Dijk and Pickford lunged into the centre-back, missing the ball.

Pickford was spared the risk of a penalty and possible card from the referee as Van Dijk was narrowly offside when Fabinho crossed.

Van Dijk was treated on the pitch but was unable to continue, walking gingerly down the touchline as Joe Gomez came on to replace him.

“Liverpool FC can confirm Virgil van Dijk will undergo surgery on the knee injury he sustained during Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Everton,” the Premier League champions said in a statement on Sunday.

“The centre-back damaged knee ligaments following an incident involving Blues goalkeeper Jordan Pickford after six minutes at Goodison Park.

“Van Dijk was required to be substituted and further assessment on the injury has revealed an operation will be needed.

“No specific timescale is being placed upon his return to action at this stage.

“Following surgery, Van Dijk will begin a rehabilitation programme with the club’s medical team to enable him to reach full fitness as soon as possible.”