- Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk was a relieved man after giving away a
late penalty that Riyad Mahrez missed in a goalless draw with title rivals
Manchester City on Sunday.
it happened: Liverpool 0-0 Manchester City
City, the reigning Premier League
champions, were given a gilt-edged chance to leave Anfield with a win for the
first time since 2003 when Van Dijk brought down Leroy Sane inside the box five
minutes from time.
But Mahrez, City's club-record
signing, blasted high over the bar with regular penalty-taker Sergio Aguero
having already been substituted by Pep Guardiola.
"It is not smart to dive in
there," Van Dijk told Sky Sports.
"It was a penalty and it
shouldn't have happened, but I'm very happy we didn't concede."
Unlike some players, he added he
had watched the penalty.
"I watched it because I
wanted to get the rebound if he missed it," Van Dijk explained.
"They did well, as did we,
up until the penalty moment.
"We were unlucky not to
score, and lucky not to concede as well, so I think we cancelled each other
out. It was a tough game against the champions and I'm happy we kept the clean
sheet," he added.
Mahrez has now missed five of his
last eight Premier League penalties, four for Leicester, from where he signed
for 60 million ($78.7 million), and one for City.
But City defender John Stones
defended the decision to let him take the high-pressure spot-kick by saying:
"It is one of those things in football.
"Riyad Mahrez was taking
them really well in training all week, but it happens, and we have to move