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“Why we were beaten like that” — Liverpool captain, Virgil van Dijk



"Why we were beaten like that" -- Liverpool captain, Virgil van Dijk

Following a disheartening 3-0 loss to Serie A side Atalanta in the Europa League quarter-final first leg at Anfield, Liverpool captain Virgil van Dijk has called upon his team to swiftly bounce back from the setback.

Speaking to TNT Sports after the match, Van Dijk addressed the disappointing result and emphasized the need for a positive response from the team.

The defeat leaves Liverpool with a significant challenge as they head to Bergamo for the second leg, requiring a substantial comeback to secure a spot in the semi-finals.

Virgil van Dijk acknowledged the multitude of individual errors that contributed to the defeat, attributing the loss to a series of mistakes that were ruthlessly punished by Atalanta.

Liverpool 0-3 Atalanta - As it happened - Liverpool FC - This Is Anfield

“I think too many individual mistakes and we got punished for it and yeah, this feels bad.”

He highlighted the difficulty in establishing rhythm against Atalanta’s man-marking system and emphasized the importance of retaining possession and winning crucial challenges.

Reflecting on the goals conceded, Van Dijk admitted that Liverpool had been left exposed due to lapses in ball retention, leading to vulnerability at the back. Despite the disappointment, he stressed the collective responsibility to improve and learn from the experience.

“Of course. We were wide open but it’s more that we conceded the goals because we lost the balls in difficult moments and that’s why we were wide open.

“Yeah, it’s a collective thing in the end and we have to do much better. We all know it. It hurts, like I said, but it can’t put us down and we have to react pretty quickly.”

"Why we were beaten like that" -- Liverpool captain, Virgil van Dijk

Looking ahead, Van Dijk emphasized the need for a quick turnaround, as Liverpool faces another pivotal fixture in just two days. He urged his teammates to shift their focus towards the upcoming challenge and to channel their energy into securing positive results.

“Well, if you don’t have belief there is no point in going to Italy. Obviously we have made it very hard for ourselves, going there 3-0 down, but we focus [now] on Crystal Palace.”

While the defeat undoubtedly stings, Van Dijk remained resolute in his belief that Liverpool has the capacity to bounce back and urged the team to react swiftly to the setback.