Virgil van Dijk bemoans Liverpool’s ‘mistakes’ in humiliating 5-2 Champions League loss to Real Madrid… as Dutchman vows to ‘give everything’ in the return leg at Bernabeu
- Liverpool face an impossible task to reach the Champions League quarter-finals
- Virgil van Dijk says he and teammates have themselves to blame for the loss
- Liverpool and Everton were fined for their behaviour in Merseyside derby
Virgil van Dijk has lamented the stupid errors that have left Liverpool facing an impossible task to reach the Champions League quarter-finals.
There was a sense of bewilderment within Liverpool’s squad on Wednesday, as they tried to come to terms with how an early two-goal lead and their best start to a match in months ended with them on the end of 5-2 drubbing.
Though there are no away goals in the knockout stages now, the likelihood of Liverpool scoring three in the Bernabeu and not conceding just to force extra-time is remote and Van Dijk accepts they only have themselves to blame.
‘We started fantastic and were 2-0 up but we gave it away because of mistakes we made,’ said Van Dijk. ‘We play against Real Madrid, who punish you immediately. That is the hard reality. The only thing we can do in this case is watch it and make sure it doesn’t happen in the next game we play, which is Crystal Palace.
‘It sounds pretty easy but it isn’t and that’s the hard reality. We know the quality they have. We lost the ball in difficult moments and they have the pace and quality to punish you and they were fantastic.’
Virgil van Dijk says he and teammates have themselves to blame for the loss to Real Madrid
Liverpool face an impossible task to reach the Champions League quarter-finals
Liverpool made a flying start and scored twice through Darwin Nunez and Mohamed Salah, before a double from Vinicius Jr – the second of which came when Alisson’s attempted pass struck him and looped back over the goalkeeper into the net – drew Real level at half-time.
The second half belonged to the visitors as Eder Militao edged them in front before Karim Benzema’s brace moved the reigning champions to the brink of the quarter-finals.
Van Dijk had felt Liverpool had turned a corner of sorts, having beaten Everton and Newcastle in their previous games, but he insisted the collapse in the second half against the reigning champions had nothing to do with their mentality.
‘You play football also with your head but it was a football thing,’ he said. ‘We made mistakes, they punished us. We have almost an impossible job in Madrid but when the time is right, we’ll focus and we’ll give everything to represent the club as good as we can. Until then we try to keep improving and focus now on Crystal Palace.’
Liverpool and Everton, meanwhile, were both fined on Wedneaday by the Football Association for the melee at the end of last week’s Merseyside derby. Liverpool’s fine was £25,000 but Everton’s was £40,000 owing to them being charged for events around their final home game against Crystal Palace last May.
Liverpool and Everton were fined for their behaviour in the Merseyside derby last week
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