The Liverpool stalwart admitted their recent run of stuttering form is taking its toll on the Reds’ squad as their bid to challenge Manchester City for the title took yet another dent.
Virgil van Dijk admitted that Liverpool’s confidence is “creeping away” in the wake of their second defeat of the season away at Arsenal.
The Gunners took the lead twice at the Emirates, only to be pegged back by both times by the Reds before Bukayo Saka’s penalty was the final blow to separate the two and hand the Gunners all three points courtesy of a 3-2 win. Van Dijk was brutally honest in his assessment of the performance after the game.
Jurgen Klopp’s side got off to the worst possible start when Gabriel Martinelli fired the hosts in front within 58 seconds of the first whistle. Out of form Darwin Nunez pulled Liverpool level around half an hour in, but Saka was on hand to tap home from close range just before half-time to ensure Arsenal went in at the break leading.
Roberto Firmino often finds the back of the net against the Gunners and Sunday was no different as he equalised yet again, but Thiago’s clumsy kick on Gabriel Jesus presented Mikel Arteta’s men with the perfect opportunity to reigster a rare win over Liverpool.
Saka stepped up and made no mistake, clearly not distracted by the melee that came beforehand as Jordan Henderson was embroiled in a heated exchange with both Granit Xhaka and Gabriel Magalhaes. The England international calmly dispatched, despite Alisson diving the right way.
The full-time whistle sparked wild celebrations from the Arsenal players and supporters, while Van Dijk cut a crestfallen figure during his post-match media duties. Speaking to Sky Sports, he expressed concerns for what the defeat means for Liverpool’s confidence as a collective.
Virgil Van Dijk cut a frustrated figure throughout Liverpool’s 3-2 defeat by Arsenal
Virgil Van Dijk cut a frustrated figure throughout Liverpool’s 3-2 defeat by Arsenal.
Confidence is definitely a thing that plays a part but you know, we are all human beings and sometimes you need a bit of confidence in certain moments and it could also if your confidence is not as high not help you in situations.
Like what I said before, every human being in any job needs a little bit of confidence in order to perform at the highest level. If you are not winning at the highest level like we are used to, then confidence is creeping away but we know it can turn around just like that, we have to work hard.”
When pressed on his side’s defensive fragilities, Van Dijk added: “If you concede goals it’s not a good thing, we do everything in our power to avoid it but we have already conceded too many in my opinion and there is always multiple reasons for it.”
Liverpool have won just two of their opening eight games this term, a run of form that leaves them an astonishing 14 points behind league-leaders Arsenal.