Liverpool central defender Virgin van Dijk has shared the reaction of the Liverpool dressing room after the 5-2 defeat at the hands of Real Madrid last night in the UEFA Champions League.
Speaking to CBS Sports immediately after the game, Van Dijk has revealed the pain and anger Liverpool feel, at giving themselves an “impossible job” to progress to the next round of the UCL.
“Everyone is angry, everyone is obviously disappointed. And the way we lost, almost not giving ourselves a chance in Madrid, is tough. It’s hard that we have almost an impossible job in Madrid,” van Dijk said to the interviewer.
“It is difficult, but it is the hard reality and something we have to deal with, we have to deal with as a group, as a unit. It’s not been the easiest season so far but the only way to get out of it is to stick together and that’s the message – even after now.”
It is easy to see why the Liverpool dressing room were so disappointed. Having taken a 2-0 lead so early and then fold to lose 5-2 at home would not be easy for anyone – not least a Liverpool team that were just a couple of games away from what would have been an unprecedented quadruple last season.
“We were 2-0 up and we gave it away because of mistakes we made against Real Madrid – who punish you immediately. That is the hard reality,” he explained.
“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 – but that’s the hard reality.”
Trying to provide some context as to why The Reds did so poorly in the game, van Dijk tried to keep things in perspective.
“We’re not robots.
“It is pretty clear to see [we made] mistakes that we shouldn’t make, but the only thing we can do is learn from it and focus on the next one – and don’t be in panic. Obviously we are all disappointed we lost, that is how we should be.”
When pushed on whether it was a mentality issue or a football issue, van Dijk was forthright in his response.
“A football thing. You play football also with your head but it is a football thing.
“You make mistakes and they punish you. That’s the only thing I can say, you know, losing is never good.”
Van Dijk and the rest of the Liverpool squad will be looking to channel that anger and pain into their next performance which is not too far away. Liverpool take on Crystal Palace on Saturday evening and will be looking to take their frustrations out on their opponents at Selhurst Park.