Virgil van Dijk embarrasses Paolo Di Canio after pre-match feedback backfire

Former Premier League footballer and supervisor Paolo Di Canio has been left embarrassed along with his pre-match prediction on Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk.

The outspoken Italian claimed previous to the primary leg of the Champions League Spherical of 16 encounter between Inter and the Reds that the central defender was a weak spot for the guests.

Nonetheless, the Dutchman put in a sometimes imperious efficiency for Jurgen Klopp’s aspect – who stored a clear sheet and took a commanding lead in the tie.

Second half targets from Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah put the Reds accountable for the tie forward of subsequent month’s return leg at Anfield.

Former Premier League iconic attacker Di Canio had acknowledged forward of the tie that Inter striker Edin Dzeko would be capable of exploit van Dijk’s weaknesses throughout the encounter.

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Van Dijk successfully shut out the specter of Inter striker Edin Dzeko
Shaun Botterill/Getty Pictures)

Di Canio performed for Celtic, Sheffield Wednesday, West Ham and Charlton – earlier than managerial stints at Swindon City and Sunderland.

He claimed forward of Liverpool’s journey to Italy that van Dijk was not the identical participant as earlier in his profession, earlier than struggling a severe knee damage final season – which dominated him out of motion for 9 months.

Di Canio advised La Gazzetta dello Sport journal SportWeek, as per Football Italia : ““Had it been in October or November, when the English aspect have a tendency to offer their finest, I’d have wager much less on Inter.

“Inter do nonetheless have a world stage this season, as they solely misplaced towards Real Madrid as a result of a scarcity of medical ending, not definitely concepts or type.

“At this stage of the season, Liverpool have some small cracks within the armour that may be exploited. The Liverpool of two years in the past had an impenetrable defence, as Virgil van Dijk had improved everybody round him.

“Since coming back from damage, he’s not the identical participant and due to this fact the entire workforce concedes extra.

“Liverpool hold conceding the identical harmful alternatives these days, vertical balls behind the defenders, who then begin their runs late. That lack of focus is the place Inter can damage them.

“For those who additionally have a look at Van Dijk’s physique language, he used to maneuver his arms to convey the full-backs tighter, however now he simply flails his arms, complaining and searching pissed off along with his team-mates.”

Because it turned out, van Dijk starred within the coronary heart of Liverpool’s defence alongside Ibrahima Konate to make sure that Klopp’s aspect stored a clear sheet towards the Italian champions.

Van Dijk advised BT Sport after the match: “Everybody anticipated to be beneath strain as a result of they’re an excellent workforce. It is the Champions League.

“Our set items are an enormous a part of our recreation they usually labored once more for us on this recreation, to offer us benefit to take again residence.

Van Dijk put in a sometimes dominating efficiency in Milan
Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Pictures)

“They did very effectively defensively however we managed to search out the house and it was a effectively deserved win in my view.

“You have to be able to endure, to do the arduous work.”

There was not a lot between the 2 groups on the evening however two second half targets after a concerted interval of Inter strain was sufficient to offer the Reds an enormous benefit within the tie.

Liverpool will host Inter at Anfield within the return leg on 8 March.

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