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Liverpool: Jamie Carragher hammers Virgil van Dijk and questions ‘intensity’ after Man United loss

‘You can’t just stand there!’: Jamie Carragher hammers Virgil van Dijk’s defending and questions his ‘intensity’ after poor Liverpool performance in loss against Man United at Old Trafford

  • Jamie Carragher has hammered Virgil van Dijk’s defending against Man United 
  • Liverpool lost their first match in 2022, 2-1 against Erik ten Hag’s side on Monday
  • Reds centre back Van Dijk was at fault for the Red Devils’ first goal at Old Trafford
  • And iconic former Liverpool defender Carragher criticised Van Dijk’s ‘intensity’ 
  • James Milner confronted team-mate Van Dijk after Jadon Sancho had scored 

Jamie Carragher has hammered Virgil van Dijk’s defending after Liverpool lost their first game of 2022 against Manchester United

The resurgent Red Devils won 2-1 to hand new manager Erik ten Hag his first victory in charge at a bouncing Old Trafford on Monday evening. 

Reds centre back Van Dijk was at fault for the first United goal, standing still on the six-yard line as winger Jadon Sancho had far too much time and space to score – and iconic former Liverpool defender Carragher criticised the Dutch star’s ‘intensity’. 

Jamie Carragher has questioned Virgil van Dijk's defending after Liverpool lost vs Man United

Jamie Carragher has questioned Virgil van Dijk’s defending after Liverpool lost vs Man United

The Red Devils won 2-1 thanks to goals from Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford to hand boss Erik ten Hag (right) his first victory in charge at a bouncing Old Trafford on Monday evening

The Red Devils won 2-1 thanks to goals from Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford to hand boss Erik ten Hag (right) his first victory in charge at a bouncing Old Trafford on Monday evening

And iconic former Reds star Carragher criticised Van Dijk's 'intensity' before Sancho's goal

And iconic former Reds star Carragher criticised Van Dijk’s ‘intensity’ before Sancho’s goal

He said: ‘It’s the only one thing I’d ever question van Dijk on as a player. If you’re going through a checklist of a centre back, he’s 10 out of 10 for most things. The one thing I do sometimes think is: does he lack a little bit of intensity at certain times?

‘I know you never see him on the floor and that’s a strength for a defender – if a defender’s on the floor all the time, that’s not a good sign. But now and again, when you’re in the proverbial (s***), you’ve got to throw yourself at (the ball). 

‘That one there (the Sancho goal) he was literally stood there… It’s one where you’ve got to go flying out and just throw yourself at him (Sancho).

‘Slide along the floor, make yourself as big as possible. You can’t just stand there! He almost made himself smaller, the way he stood. That’s the one thing I sometimes think: go, be more aggressive, maybe slide in, throw yourself in front of something.’

James Milner (left) also blasted team-mate Van Dijk (right) for his role in Sancho's opener

James Milner (left) also blasted team-mate Van Dijk (right) for his role in Sancho’s opener

Veteran midfielder Milner confronted Dutch defender Van Dijk in the aftermath of the goal

Veteran midfielder Milner confronted Dutch defender Van Dijk in the aftermath of the goal

Sancho’s goal saw United go in 1-0 up at the interval, and fellow England forward Marcus Rashford doubled the lead before the hour mark. 

Mohamed Salah pulled one back late on but the hosts held on to stun Jurgen Klopp’s title challengers and leapfrog them in the table.

Earlier, veteran Liverpool midfielder James Milner had confronted Van Dijk in the aftermath of the Sancho goal.

Former Borussia Dortmund star Sancho had turned Milner the wrong way, with Van Dijk standing off, before finding the bottom corner to give the hosts a deserved 1-0 lead against their bitter rivals. 

Van Dijk stood motionless with his arms behind his back as Milner desperately tried to slide in

Van Dijk stood motionless with his arms behind his back as Milner desperately tried to slide in

But England winger Sancho took his time, picked his spot and found the corner to make it 1-0

But England winger Sancho took his time, picked his spot and found the corner to make it 1-0

And Milner angrily blasted his team-mate, appearing to say: ‘you go f***ing out to him!’ as he stood in front of the Dutch defender, jabbing his finger furiously into Van Dijk’s chest to emphasise his point.

For the goal, a low cross came in from the left, with Sancho controlling the ball nicely before he turned past Milner, who had raced towards him to put the pressure on.

Centre half Van Dijk, meanwhile, stood with his hands behind his back to prevent the ball striking his arms, but stood on the six-yard line, leaving Sancho, standing around the penalty spot, unmarked and unchallenged. 

At half-time, pundit Roy Keane had said: ‘If you analyse Van Dijk here… he’s been sloppy this season. He’s got to get out! He’s got to move his feet – just look at him here!’ 




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