Virgil Van Dijk has defended his tackle that sent Dries Mertens out of their UCL match Napoli boss Carlo Ancelotti has blamed the referee for not sending the Dutch defender off
– Liverpool defeated the Italian side and progressed through to the next stage of the tournament Liverpool center-back Virgil Van Dijk has said his tackle on Dries Mertens was legal after Napoli manager Carlo Ancelotti thought he should have been sent off. The Reds defeated the Serie A side by a lone goal from Mohamed Salah which sent them out of the Champions League. And Ancelotti’s side were unable to draw level as they have been relegated to play into the Europa League next year.
— Football Foresight (@FutForesight) December 11, 2018
But the former Real Madrid boss was not happy with the Dutch defender who remained on the field after his challenge on Mertens in the first half. Van Dijk’s studs flew into the Belgian’s ankle which forced the striker off and the defender was only given a yellow card but will miss Liverpool’s first leg in the round of 16. “From the video, it is a red card,” Ancelotti told a news conference. “There are a lot of questions about VAR, but when VAR comes in the Champions League it will be too late. “Unfortunately I’m suspended now for the first game. “I heard it after the game so I was a bit disappointed about that. “But we have plenty of quality players to fill my gap.”
Liverpool fans May 2018: “That’s clear foul and a red card to Sergio Ramos for a disgusting tackle on Salah.”
Also Liverpool fans: “Van Dijk was on the ball first. How on earth was that a yellow card!?” pic.twitter.com/vBkAnhaAeI
— Real Talk Manchester City ⚽️ (@RealTalkMCFC) December 11, 2018
But the former Southampton and Celtic center-half has hit back at the Italian gaffer, insisting the tackle was a fair game. “I don’t think it was a bad challenge at all,” Van Dijk said. “Unfortunately I touched him, but I would never go in to hurt him or anything like that. “I had the ball and obviously [with] the wet pitch you slide through and I touched him, but that’s football.” PAY ATTENTION: Become a member of the leading sports Facebook group ‘Naija Football Fan Zone’ Meanwhile, Legit.ng had earlier reported that Liverpool progressed through to the next stage of the Champions League with Paris Saint-Germain following a 1-0 win over Napoli. Mohamed Salah’s superb solo goal in the 34th minute was all the Reds needed to make it through to the next phase. Read more: https://www.legit.ng/1209168-van-dijk-tells-ancelotti-tackle-mertens-fair.html