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EXCLUSIVE: No silent treatment for De Jong despite injuring close pal Babel

24 Nov 2009 12:30:58

EXCLUSIVE: No silent treatment for De Jong despite injuring close pal Babel

Nigel de Jong did his best to atone for kicking Ryan Babel out of Liverpool's biggest match of the season - by taking him out to dinner hours later. Close friends for years, the two Holland midfielders struck an agreement that they would dine out together on Saturday night, regardless of the outcome of Liverpool's Anfield showdown with Manchester City that afternoon. City hard man De Jong began to wonder whether his compatriot might have second thoughts, though, after a typically uncompromising challenge curtailed Babel's involvement after only 17 minutes and ruled him out of tonight's must-win Champions' League meeting with Debrecen in Budapest. Who needs enemies: De Jong's crunching challenge forced good friend Babel off A sheepish De Jong telephoned soon after the 2-2 draw to offer his apologies and check whether their night out was still on and was relieved to be told their friendship had survived the pain and frustration of Babel's latest setback. A peripheral figure for most of his time at Anfield, Babel saw City's visit as an ideal opportunity to press his claims for a key role against the Hungarian champions and revive not only Liverpool's faltering European campaign but his career on Merseyside.  Liverpool 2 Manchester City 2: Tevez told to ponder job as an impact sub Manchester City boosted by return of Vincent Kompany, Michael Johnson and Benjani Man City home in on winger Di Maria as Chelsea pull plug on deal for £36m ace MANCHESTER CITY FC


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