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Virgil van Dijk accepts blame for mix-up with Alisson that cost ‘dominant’ Liverpool a point in top-of-the-table clash with Arsenal

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Liverpool captain Virgil van Dijk took full responsibility for the second-half error that proved to be a turning point in the Reds’ loss to Arsenal.

WHAT HAPPENED?

With Liverpool having quietened the Emirates Stadium crowd after levelling the game at one apiece just before half-time, Jurgen Klopp’s men were enjoying their best spell of the game when Van Dijk opted not to clear a long ball downfield, a decision that drew Alisson from his goal. The error was compounded by a mix up that eventually left a tap in for Martinelli, which changed the course of the match and put Arsenal right back in the title hunt. After the game, a dejected van Dijk shouldered the blame for his misjudgement.

WHAT VIRGIL VAN DIJK SAID

“I take full responsibility for that,” the Dutchman told Sky Sports. “It’s a big turning point in the game. I should’ve done better, should’ve made a better decision there and it hurts. It hurts for me and obviously the rest of the team. Before that we were so good, we were having opportunities, we were dominant. The atmosphere had become a bit more nervous.

“The turning point was my responsibility. I should just try and clear it. I make the split-second wrong decision and unfortunately these things happen in football sometimes. That doesn’t take away that it hurts, these things haven’t happened too many times in my career but it’s a tough one and I will recover from this because I will learn from things that don’t go well.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE

Arsenal came out on top after an error-strewn game to give their title hopes a huge boost. The Gunners came flying out of the traps and deservedly took the lead before Gabriel’s Magalhaes’ bizarre own goal gave Liverpool an equaliser just before the break. After Van Dijk’s rare lack of composure, Liverpool unravelled, losing Ibrahima Konate to a red card and conceding a late clincher to Leandro Trossard. The result draw Arsenal within two points of Liverpool at the top, with Manchester City a further three points behind with a game in hand.

WHAT NEXT FOR LIVERPOOL?

Van Dijk and the Reds will have a chance to put things right next Saturday when they host Vincent Kompany’s struggling Burnley side. Liverpool will then turn their attention to a tough trip to Brentford seven days later.

 

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