Liverpool could get Man City boost after special night for Virgil van Dijk and Cody Gakpo


Liverpool duo Virgil van Dijk and Cody Gakpo started the Netherlands' 1-0 victory over the Republic of Ireland - on a night that saw the Dutch secure qualification for Euro 2024.

Holland, now managed by former Everton boss Ronald Koeman, defeated Ireland at the Johan Cruijff ArenA thanks to a first-half goal from Wout Weghorst.

Van Dijk, sporting his usual captain's armband on international duty, completed the full 90 minutes in Amsterdam while Gakpo played 68 minutes on the left side of a three-man forward line. For the opposition, their Liverpool team-mate Caoimhin Kelleher was an unused substitute.

Speaking after the game, Van Dijk said: "I am not going to be negative about this game. Listen, we are qualified for the Euros! We are going to prepare for hopefully a very special tournament."

For the defender, qualification to next summer's tournament in Germany as runners-up of Group B means he will be afforded a first opportunity to play at a European Championship after missing the delayed 2020 finals due to a serious knee injury.

Liverpool's Dutch delegation are set to be in action against Gibraltar on Tuesday but with France defeating the European minnows 14-0 last night, Koeman could ring the changes and hand Van Dijk and Gakpo a rest ahead of their return to Merseyside later in the week to prepare for the top-of-the-table Premier League clash at Manchester City.

Elsewhere, Harvey Elliott started and scored in England Under-21s' 3-0 victory over Serbia. Elliott, who is quickly establishing himself as an important member of Lee Carsley's side, completed the full 90 minutes in Backa Topola as the young Lions recorded an important qualifying victory.

Jarell Quansah was a late second-half substitute during the victory, with the Reds defender being joined by Anfield loanee Tyler Morton - who is spending the season with Hull City in the Championship - in appreciating a late cameo.

Next up for Elliott, Quansah and Morton is a visit to Goodison Park on Tuesday to face Northern Ireland under-21s.

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