Image source: Liverpool fc


Euro 2024 has been a thrilling showcase of football talent, and Liverpool players have significantly contributed to their national teams. The recent Group D clash between the Netherlands and France highlighted the influence of Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk and Cody Gakpo, who played pivotal roles in their team’s performance. In a competitive match that ended in a goalless draw, the defensive prowess of Van Dijk and the attacking potential of Gakpo were on full display. This blog delves into their contributions, the match’s highlights, and the broader implications for their national team and club careers.

The Netherlands’ Defensive Backbone: Virgil van Dijk

Leadership and Commanding Presence

Virgil van Dijk, the Liverpool captain, once again demonstrated his leadership on the international stage by captaining the Netherlands against France. His calm demeanor and strategic insight were evident throughout the match, guiding a well-organized defense that successfully contained France’s formidable attack.

Van Dijk’s ability to read the game was crucial in neutralizing threats from French forwards like Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann. His aerial dominance and precise tackling ensured that the Dutch defense remained robust against a team renowned for its offensive firepower.

Virgil Van Dijk: Liverpool FC

Defensive Statistics and Performance

Van Dijk completed 90 minutes with a series of vital interceptions and clearances. His performance was instrumental in keeping a clean sheet for the Netherlands, reflecting his value not only to his national team but also highlighting why he is considered one of the best defenders in the world. His role as a leader on the pitch cannot be overstated, particularly in high-stakes matches such as this one at Euro 2024.

Cody Gakpo: A Rising Star in the Dutch Attack

Versatility and Threat

Cody Gakpo, another Liverpool standout, played a full 90 minutes, demonstrating his versatility and attacking prowess. Operating primarily on the left wing, Gakpo was a constant threat to the French defense, utilizing his pace and skill to create opportunities. His ability to cut inside and take shots, combined with his dribbling and crossing, posed significant challenges for the French full-backs.

Image source: Liverpool fc

Near-Miss and Offensive Contributions

Despite the match ending in a draw, Gakpo’s contributions were noteworthy. He was involved in several key attacking plays and came close to breaking the deadlock on multiple occasions. His movement off the ball created space for teammates, showcasing his tactical awareness and ability to influence the game beyond just scoring goals. Although the Dutch were unable to find the net, Gakpo’s performance underlined his growing importance to the national side.

Tactical Overview of the Match

Netherlands’ Approach

Ronald Koeman’s tactical setup for the Netherlands focused on a balanced approach between defense and attack. The Dutch relied on a solid defensive structure, anchored by Van Dijk, while looking to exploit the wings with Gakpo’s speed and creativity. The Netherlands effectively disrupted France’s buildup play and managed to create scoring opportunities through quick transitions and set pieces.

Key Moments and VAR Drama

The most dramatic moment of the match came in the 69th minute when Xavi Simons, another promising Dutch talent, found the back of the net. However, the goal was disallowed after a VAR review for offside, much to the disappointment of the Dutch side. This decision highlighted the fine margins in football and the impact of modern technology on crucial matches.

France’s Response

France, despite having a wealth of attacking talent, struggled to break down the disciplined Dutch defense. Ibrahima Konate, another Liverpool player, remained an unused substitute, suggesting that Didier Deschamps was satisfied with his defensive lineup. The French midfield and attack were stifled by the Netherlands’ pressing and defensive resilience, ultimately resulting in a stalemate.

Ibrahima Konate: Liverpool fc

Implications for the Group Stage

Standings and Next Fixtures

The draw leaves both the Netherlands and France in a competitive position as they head into their final group matches. With each team needing a win to ensure progression to the knockout stages, the upcoming fixtures against Austria and Poland respectively will be crucial. For the Netherlands, the performance against France will provide a confidence boost, particularly given their ability to hold one of the tournament favorites to a draw.

Liverpool Players’ Impact

For Liverpool, the performances of Van Dijk and Gakpo at Euro 2024 are promising signs for the upcoming club season. Their form and fitness at the international level bode well for their return to Anfield, where their roles will be critical in the club’s ambitions for domestic and European success.


The Euro 2024 clash between the Netherlands and France showcased the talents of Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk and Cody Gakpo, highlighting their importance to both their national team and their club. Van Dijk’s defensive solidity and Gakpo’s attacking dynamism were key factors in the Netherlands securing a valuable point against a strong French side. As the tournament progresses, their performances will be closely watched by fans and analysts alike, eager to see how they contribute to their respective teams’ fortunes. For Liverpool supporters, the continued excellence of their players on the international stage provides ample reason for optimism as they look forward to the next season.

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Thank you for your continued support, and let’s cheer Liverpool on to success in the upcoming match. Your thoughts are always welcome in the comments section. For further insights, you may explore the official Liverpool FC website by clicking here.

YNWA (You’ll Never Walk Alone)!
The Liverpool FC Times Team

By Abdulkadir Salim

Abdulkadir Salim Is content writer for Liverpool FC Times

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