Virgil van Dijk has admitted he was “gutted and angry” that Ryan Babel scored in Liverpool’s 2-1 win at Fulham on Sunday after his Dutch team-mate claimed he knew his weakness ahead of the match.

The Reds were heading for two dropped points as Van Dijk’s weak header back to Alisson allowed Babel to round the ‘keeper and net the 74th-minute equaliser. The ever-reliable James Milner then stepped up to bag a late winner from the penalty spot.

Speaking to BeIN Sports, as cited by Football 365, after full-time, the centre-back explained his frustration at his costly mistake and what he thought of Babel’s suggestive comments beforehand.

Yeah, Ryan was trying to be clever I think when he said that. I spoke to him as well before the game. I think he’s a great player and he’s important for our country. I’m obviously a bit gutted and angry that he scored.
I’m going to tell him on the plane now on the way to Holland that I was a bit angry that we didn’t keep a clean sheet. These things happen in games and all of us could have done a lot better, including me.

The huge win ensured Liverpool go into the international break with a one-point lead ahead of Manchester City at the Premier League summit after one more game played.

Van Dijk and Babel’s Netherlands face Belarus and Germany in their opening EURO 2020 Qualifying matches over the next week.


Virgil van Dijk