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Van Dijk savours gusty Saints' fight back to beat Inter

Southampton 2 Inter Milan 1

By Robert Jones

Published 04/11/2016

Victory roar: Virgil van Dijk celebrates with Maya Yoshida
Victory roar: Virgil van Dijk celebrates with Maya Yoshida

Virgil Van Dijk says Southampton got their reward for a hard-working display against Inter Milan. The Dutch defender's 64th minute strike cancelled out Mauro Icardi's opener before visiting defender Yuto Nagatomo's unfortunate own goal earned the Saints - who saw Dusan Tadic miss a 45th minute penalty - three crucial Group K points.

"The most important thing is that it's well deserved. I think we played some good football and were the dominant side," said van Dijk.

"It was the same story in the last game (a 1-0 defeat at the San Siro) but we didn't reward ourselves with the win, but today we did.

"It's been a great night and a spectacular game for the fans especially and I felt we deserved that win."

Despite starting brightly, Southampton fell behind when Icardi pounced on 33 minutes but the hosts were afforded a golden opportunity to level on the stroke of half-time only for Samir Handanovic to save Tadic's spot-kick following a handball award against Ivan Perisic.

Having gone close to equalising with a bullet header, van Dijk finally found the net when he followed up to convert after Oriol Romeu had struck the bar.

The turnaround was complete shortly afterwards; Tadic's cross deflecting firstly off Danilo D'Ambrosio and then Nagatomo before nestling in the bottom corner.

"I think we need to enjoy it and the club does to because we have come so far," added van Dijk.

"Everyone around the club can be very proud and I'm very proud of my team as well.

"We have two big games coming up and hopefully we can make it another special night here, with a big performance away as well."

Belfast Telegraph

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