Virgil van Dijk went head-to-head with Kylian Mbappe on Friday during the Netherlands encounter with France
van Dijk has hailed Kylian Mbappe as a difference-maker after his brace against the Netherlands.
The Paris Saint-Germain striker fired France into next summer’s European Championships in Germany as they ran out 2-1 winners in Amsterdam.
Mbappe made it four goals in two games against Ronald Koeman’s side as he made a clinical impact in their reverse fixture as Holland suffered a humbling 4-0 defeat in Paris.
Van Dijk came in for criticism following his display in the French capital in the corresponding fixture, however, he received praise from L’Equipe following Friday’s disappointment.
The result leaves Holland outside the top two positions in Group B going into their crunch match against Greece on Monday.
The Liverpool defender will go head-to-head with his fellow defensive partner in Kostas Tsimikas, who made an important contribution in their 2-0 away triumph against the Republic of Ireland.
Their win at the Arriva Stadium saw them leapfrog Holland, with Oranje having a game in hand, going into the final games of the qualifiers.
While Van Dijk felt that they managed Mbappe well in parts, he was forced to concede that the quality of the in-demand striker proved crucial in their defeat.
“I think there were a lot of moments where we were able to stop Kylian Mbappé in his tracks,” the 32-year-old said.
“But in the end he scored twice, he was the man of the match. That’s the high level.
“The goal situation often has several moments where it can be resolved. But we can’t do it, and then there’s a mistake, we need to cover better.
“This is unfortunately sometimes the case in football, players like him can make the difference. That’s what he did”