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22nd Aug 2022

“That’s your ball!” – James Milner climbs into Virgil Van Dijk after Sancho goal

The veteran midfielder had a point.

James Milner had a stand-up row with Liverpool teammate Virgil Van Dijk after his side went behind to an early Manchester United goal.

United, after losing their opening two games of the Premier League season, were the sharper of the sides at Old Trafford, and deservedly took the lead after 15 minutes.

A nice passing interchange between new United signings Tyrrell Malacia and Christian Eriksen teed up Jadon Sancho in the centre of the Liverpool box. Alisson committed himself to an early dive, and Milner slid in to block a shot that never came.

In between both men was Van Dijk, who stood with his arms behind his back. Sancho cut back inside and slotted past the Dutch defender to make it 1-0.

Jadon Sancho scores Manchester United’s first goal against Liverpool. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

James Milner launches into Virgil Van Dijk

As Jadon Sancho ran off to celebrate, before being mobbed by his Manchester United teammates, James Milner turned on Virgil Van Dijk. He was clearly livid.

Milner squared up to his teammate and roared, “That’s your ball. That’s your ball!”

Milner clearly felt his teammate needed to be less passive and press up on Sancho after his slide across the United attacker forced him to cut back inside.

Liverpool concede early, again

Over on the sideline, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp shook his head. This was the seventh successive league game that Liverpool have conceded first in.

Ahead of the game, Van Dijk was asked about his team conceding openers to their opponents and argued that, “These kind of stats come out, then everyone is paying attention.

“Obviously, you don’t want to concede at all, and that is what we are trying to avoid today. So, that’s the focus – winning games and, in order to do that, not conceding goals.”

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