EPL

Van Dijk: Sloppy Liverpool 'got what they deserved' in Arsenal loss

By Sports Desk July 15, 2020

Virgil van Dijk felt Liverpool shot themselves in the foot as their hopes of setting a record Premier League points haul were ended by a 2-1 loss at Arsenal.

Liverpool, already crowned champions for the 2019-20 season, led through Sadio Mane at Emirates Stadium but the normally assured Van Dijk and Alisson both gave the ball away for the Gunners' two first-half goals.

Alexandre Lacazette and Reiss Nelson took advantage of the blunders to boost Arsenal's top-six hopes as Mikel Arteta's side bounced back from the derby loss to Tottenham at the weekend.

The defeats means Jurgen Klopp's Reds can now only finish with a maximum of 99 points – one shy of Manchester City's landmark total from two seasons ago – and Van Dijk acknowledged Liverpool had nobody to blame but themselves.

"The goals we give them, as a present," the Netherlands international told Sky Sports.

"Until their first goal I think it was totally us, we dominated, put pressure on them and we gave them two goals.

"Obviously then it's difficult to come back. We created some opportunities, they tried to break at us on times but if you give the goals away like we did – including myself – then you get what you deserve.

"If you look at the goals then they shouldn't happen, but until then there was nothing wrong. We played very well, pressed them, scored a fantastic goal. 

"A moment of concentration, that happens in football sometimes as well, you have to deal with it and today, unfortunately, we had to deal with it twice."

This was Liverpool's seventh game since the restart and they have dropped points in four of them.

Two of their defeats have come after they were confirmed as champions, yet Van Dijk feels using that as an excuse is unfair.

"It's so easy to say that, it's so easy to blame that," he added.

"If you watch the game, until I made a mistake, there was nothing wrong. We played well.

"I had a feeling we could win here, comfortably, at one point. But if you give them the goals, you see what happens.

"Unfortunately, I made the mistake. I take the blame for it, of course, I take it as a man and we move on."

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