Van Dijk: Liverpool players need to look themselves in the mirror

25 Apr 2024
Virgil van Dijk

Reds captain says he and team-mates must ask themselves if they really want to win the title

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Liverpool captain Virgil van Dijk says he and his team-mates need to look themselves in the mirror after Wednesday’s derby defeat to Everton and ask if they really want to win the Premier League title.

The skipper felt the Reds were outfought by their local rivals in a 2-0 loss which leaves them three points behind league leaders Arsenal, with an inferior goal difference, while Manchester City are only one point behind Liverpool with two matches in hand.

The title race

Position Pos Club Played Pl GD Points Pts
1 Man City MCI 38 +62 91
2 Arsenal ARS 38 +62 89
3 Liverpool LIV 38 +45 82
View More

“I’m very disappointed in so many ways,” Van Dijk told Sky Sports. “I think everyone has to look in the mirror and look at their own performance and [ask] if they’ve really given everything, and do they really want to win the league?

“Obviously we’re fighting, we still have games after tonight. But if you play like we did overall in the game today, not winning challenges and giving the referee an opportunity to give a free-kick - which he did many times - then we have no chance to win the title.

“It’s a tough one. We have to do much better against a side that’s playing against relegation.

“At the start of the season nobody would have thought that we’d be competing at least for the title, but I don’t care what anyone says at the start of the season - we’re here now, and we all have to do much better.

“It sounds simple but it starts with the fight and starts with the will to win your challenges and be confident in scoring a goal. That’s what we’ve been lacking a little bit.

“We can’t let the season go out like tonight and the first half against Crystal Palace especially, which was also very disappointing [in the 1-0 defeat]. We have to do much better in every sense.”

Jurgen Klopp now looks set to miss out on a dream, title-winning farewell to Liverpool, with the German admitting he doesn’t expect Arsenal or Man City to drop enough points to open the door.

“They must come in a very bad moment, Arsenal and City, and it didn’t look like that yesterday [when Arsenal beat Chelsea 5-0],” Klopp told Sky Sports. “I can only apologise for today, for the people, for everybody who’s with us and knows how hard it is for us.

“We let it happen, let it become exactly the game Everton wanted. Two goals from set-pieces, where they are really strong. Then we created a lot and didn’t score.

“In the second half, the emotions, we were in a rush, not really clear enough, and then we concede the second goal with a routine that they’ve done the whole season. We knew exactly the ball would end up there, we just didn’t defend it well enough. We were not good enough, that’s what we have to admit.”

Liverpool are back in action on Saturday, visiting West Ham United in the early kick-off.

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