VAR would have sent Virgil van Dijk off for first-half tackle, says Napoli boss Carlo Ancelotti

Liverpool defender booked for challenge on Dries Mertens in crucial win over Napoli

Liverpool's Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk fould Napoli's Belgian striker Dries Mertens during the UEFA Champions League group C football match between Liverpool and Napoli at Anfield stadium in Liverpool
Image: Virgil van Dijk was shown yellow for a foul on Napoli's Dries Mertens

Napoli boss Carlo Ancelotti believes VAR would have shown Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk a red card for his challenge on Dries Mertens in their crucial Champions League encounter on Tuesday night.

Van Dijk was shown yellow for his first-half tackle, with Liverpool going on to edge Napoli 1-0 and qualify for the last 16 at the Italian club's expense.

The booking means Van Dijk will miss the first match of the knockout phase in January, but Ancelotti was left bemoaning the lack of VAR with his club now set for Europa League football in the New Year.

"From the video it is a red card. There are a lot of questions about VAR but when VAR comes in the Champions League it will be too late," Ancelotti said.

Alisson, Liverpool v Napoli 0:30
Virgil van Dijk has praised goalkeeper Alisson after he produced a fine save to help Liverpool beat Napoli 1-0 and qualify for the last 16 of the Champions League

But despite the defeat, Ancelotti insisted Napoli have no regrets, and hopes his side get more luck in Europe's secondary competition.

"We have gone very close but we have no regrets. That's what I said to the players," he added.

"I don't think they should have any regrets. It would have been a wonderful achievement to qualify from a really difficult group and many people didn't think we would take it this far.

Also See:

Image: Mohamed Salah scored the crucial goal at Anfield on Tuesday

"We lacked luck at times. Hopefully we will get some of that luck in the Europa League.

"We knew Liverpool were going to put us under a lot more pressure. We expected that. They were more aggressive. We knew the intensity would be a lot different to the first game too. It was something we had to cope with.

"You can't expect to come to a place like Liverpool and create 10 chances. We created two good ones but didn't have the luck we needed to put them in the back of the net."

Play Super 6

Play Super 6

Predict 6 correct scores for your chance to win £250K.

Around Sky