Adrian makes Van Dijk admission after first Liverpool game without Dutchman

Liverpool goalkeeper Adrian has admitted it felt "strange" to play in a team without defensive colossus Virgil van Dijk, with the Dutchman set to have surgery on an ACL injury.

Van Dijk suffered the injury after a challenge from Everton stopper Jordan Pickford in the Merseyside derby and he could miss the remainder of the season.

He is not the only key player out of action at the moment, with Adrian deputising for first-choice goalkeeper Alisson Becker.

The Brazilian has been missing since September with a shoulder problem and, although he is closing in on a return to fitness, Adrian once again started in between the sticks in Liverpool's Champions League opener against Ajax.

Jurgen Klopp's men won the game 1-0 thanks to an own goal from Nicolas Tagliafico, in the first fixture since Van Dijk's injury.

Speaking after the game, Adrian told the club's official website : "It's a big win, a massive one – three points in the Champions League and a clean sheet. It was a little bit different, strange, we missed some good players.

"I think we deserved another result in the derby but I think we reacted really well and the team showed the strong mentality that we have, a winning mentality.

"As a goalkeeper, keeping a clean sheet is a massive thing and the last few games we conceded many goals, some cheap goals. It was good keeping a clean sheet and scoring one goal to get us three points.

Defensive midfielder Fabinho filled in for Van Dijk at the back and Adrian was full of praise for his performance, adding: "Fab played a few times there last season and the more games playing together, everyone is going to get more confident, for sure.

"We've known each other for a long time and it's not just the centre-backs and the goalkeeper, it's the whole team defending and it was a very good job from everyone.

"Obviously we know we are going to miss Virgil and it's a big loss for us, but it's how to react. We have many good players who can play in this position – Fabinho did great tonight with Joe.

"We have a great squad and we have shown at different times last season, when anyone is not playing, another one comes from the bench to do the same and even better.

"We are going to miss Virg, for sure, but I thought we did good tonight from the defending side."

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