Koeman: Van Dijk plan worked

Last Updated: 20/11/18 10:03am

Virgil van Dijk's goal sent Netherlands to the UEFA Nations League finals

Virgil van Dijk’s goal sent Netherlands to the UEFA Nations League finals

Ronald Koeman is thrilled that the plan he hatched with his assistants resulted in Virgil van Dijk’s late goal against Germany, which sent the Netherlands to the Nations League finals.

Van Dijk was deployed as a makeshift centre-forward as Netherlands trailed Germany heading into the closing stages of their Nations League Group A1 clash in Gelsenkirchen on Monday night.

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Highlights of the Nations League Group A1 match between Germany and the Netherlands.

Highlights of the Nations League Group A1 match between Germany and the Netherlands.

The Liverpool defender volleyed home an equaliser on the stroke of 90 minutes to ensure the Netherlands topped their group to join England, Portugal and Switzerland in the last four of the Nations League.

Koeman later revealed he passed a note from one of his assistants on to the field via full-back Kenny Tete, instructing Liverpool centre-back Van Dijk to move into an attacking position.

“I got that note from Dwight Lodeweges and Kees van Wonderen,” Koeman said.

Van Dijk scored at home and away against Germany in the Nations League

Van Dijk scored at home and away against Germany in the Nations League

“When we were 2-0 down they asked me if we should change things around and I said yes. Next thing I knew I had the note. So I gave it to Kenny.

“And in the end it’s fantastic that the equaliser came from the guy who was told on the note to push up front.”

The Dutchman scored in the Merseyside derby on his Liverpool debut

The Dutchman scored in the Merseyside derby on his Liverpool debut

Meanwhile, Liverpool’s medical staff will continue to monitor the recovery of captain Jordan Henderson ahead of their trip to Watford this weekend.

The midfielder sat out England’s 2-1 win over Croatia on Sunday due to a hamstring niggle.

Jordan Henderson has started just six games for Liverpool this season

Jordan Henderson has started just six games for Liverpool this season

Henderson struggled with a tight hamstring at the World Cup in Russia earlier this year and the injury surfaced again last month, with Liverpool midfielder substituted at half-time in the 1-0 win over Huddersfield.

The 28-year-old subsequently missed four matches for his club but returned to the squad for the 2-0 win over Fulham just before the international break.

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