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Van Dijk disappointed with Netherlands’ ‘poor game’ in loss to Italy

Virgil van Dijk - Netherlands
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Virgil van Dijk feels the failure to keep hold of the ball and the inability to pressurize the opposition cost his side three points against Italy.

The Netherlands lost grip on the top position of Group A1 in the Nations League following a narrow defeat to Italy at Amsterdam Arena on Monday.

It was their last night’s opponents who took their place atop the table with a one-point lead, courtesy of a headed goal from Nicolo Barella.

The Oranje registered three shots on target, only one of which truly tested Gianluigi Donnarumma’s abilities – a half-volley from Donny van de Beek. In contrast, Gli Azzurri took a whopping 18 shots in total, four of which were on target.

Speaking after the match, Virgil van Dijk expressed his frustration at what he believed was a lackluster performance from his side.

“It was a poor game for us,” the captain told NOS. “We couldn’t really put them under pressure, we were sloppy in possession.

“The first half wasn’t good. After the break, we tried to turn that around, and you saw it did go better at times, but, generally, it wasn’t a good match.

“You try to put on all your pressure and, at a certain point, the players also get tired. It’s then difficult to keep that up and, when we have the ball, to keep making runs.”

The Netherlands will now welcome Mexico for a friendly before taking a trip to Bosnia & Herzegovina and then Italy in the next round of Nations League matches.