Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk explains worrying FA Cup final injury – Cant risk it

In pictures: Chelsea v Liverpool

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Virgil van Dijk has given an optimistic response when asked about the injury which forced him off during Liverpool’s FA Cup final win over Chelsea. Jurgen Klopp’s side secured their second trophy of the season and remain in the hunt for a historic quadruple with another penalty shootout success over the Blues.

However, Klopp must now contend with several injury concerns with Mohamed Salah being withdrawn in the first-half at Wembley and Tsimikas replacing Andy Robertson in extra-time. Joel Matip was also introduced for Van Dijk after the full-time whistle, but the Netherlands international is confident it is a knock he can shake off quickly.

He told ITV Sport: “Hopefully well, we’re going to check it out. I felt in the first half when I did a sprint, I felt a twinge behind my knee, I played on.

“In the end, I can’t risk it for the team and I trusted Joel. Hopefully it will be fine.”

The latest clash between the sides saw a repeat of the Carabao Cup final in February, with neither side proving able to break the deadlock following 120 minutes of action. On this occasion, it was Mason Mount who saw his spot-kick saved by Alisson Becker to set the stage for Kosta Tsimikas to score the winning penalty in a 6-5 shootout victory.

Attention for Liverpool now turns to the final three matches of the season, with a three-point deficit to Manchester City to overcome with two Premier League fixtures remaining. Following the conclusion of the domestic season, the Reds then must prepare for their third Champions League final in five years with a chance for revenge against Real Madrid following the 2018 defeat in Kyiv.

Chelsea could again count themselves somewhat unfortunate after ending up on the losing side of another penalty shootout defeat against Liverpool. Both sides fashioned opportunities to win before penalties, and the Blues were then kept alive in the shootout when Edouard Mendy denied Senegal team-mate Sadio Mane from sealing the win.

In the end, it was Tsimikas who took the headlines with the winning penalty, and Van Dijk was full of praise for the manner in which the substitute ‘stepped up’ to the occasion. He added: “He deserves all of it. Fantastic guy and important for us. He stepped up. Massive for him and I’m very pleased for him and for the club.”

Liverpool boss Klopp admitted he was nervous when watching the penalty shootout and sympathised with Chelsea after a second successive penalty shootout defeat to his side: “In the penalty shootout, it was nerve-racking, my nails are gone but I really feel for Chelsea – for the second time, 120 minutes and you get nothing, that’s too hard. But for us I’m pretty happy.”

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