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‘It hurts’ – Virgil van Dijk makes honest Liverpool admission after error against Arsenal

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Virgil van Dijk has commented on his error during the 3-1 defeat to Arsenal, with the Liverpool captain shouldering the responsibility for his mix-up with Alisson Becker.

Liverpool captain Virgil van Dijk has taken full responsibility for his error against Arsenal during the 3-1 loss on Sunday. The defender was involved in a moment of confusion with goalkeeper Alisson Becker, which ultimately led to Mikel Arteta’s side regaining the lead.

The Gunners were fired ahead in the 14th minute thanks to an early goal from Bukayo Saka after the ball fell to his feet following a saved effort from his teammate Kai Havertz. Arsenal looked as if they would build on this lead in the first half, only to see Luis Díaz’s poked effort deflect off Gabriel to level the scoreline just before half-time.

Despite Liverpool momentarily looking better in the second half, all hopes of walking away with something to show for their efforts were shattered after Van Dijk and Alisson failed to clear the ball near their own area. The two Liverpool players came close to colliding before the ball fell to the feet of Brazilian winger Gabriel Martinelli, who slotted his effort home to give his side the lead in the 67th minute.

“A tough day. I think the 2-1 [Martinelli’s goal] I take full responsibility for that,” Van Dijk said after the loss. “That is a big moment in the game. I should have made a better decision — it hurts for me.

“Like I said that was a big turning point in the game. After the break we were so good and had opportunities and were dominant, the atmosphere started to come nervous. The turning point is my responsibility, I should try to clear it.

“Obviously these things don’t happen too often in my career, but I will recover from this. It is a physical game and I am not looking for excuses. At the highest level it is a split decision.

“Alisson touched me a little bit and he couldn’t clear it, but I take full responsibility for this and I will try to make sure this doesn’t happen again. You play here obviously, for every team in the league it is a tough place to go to.

“In the FA Cup we were under a lot under pressure, but we found a way. It hurts losing. The way we did it today and in so many ways it was unnecessary.

“It hurts for me and seeing the fans coming all the way down and the whole club it is not nice to be involved in mistakes, but I will work hard and be back.”

Things would go from bad to worse for Liverpool as the game fizzled out, with defender Ibrahima Konaté being shown his second yellow card of the afternoon by referee Anthony Taylor with just two minutes of regular time to go. Leandro Trossard would make it three goals for the hosts shortly after Liverpool was reduced to ten men.

Liverpool.com says: It was an uncharacteristic error from two stalwarts of the Liverpool defense, who have regularly been so reliable throughout the current season. Klopp mentioned after the Chelsea game that his players looked fatigued following the win, which could’ve added to the lapse of concentration in north London.

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