Virgil van Dijk has admitted culpability for the sequence of errors leading to Arsenal’s second goal in their 3-1 triumph over Liverpool on Sunday.
Despite Liverpool’s comeback attempts in the early stages of the second half, a pivotal moment occurred with 25 minutes to go when a long ball to Gabriel Martinelli caught out both Van Dijk and goalkeeper Alisson. The awkward bounce resulted in a failure to clear, gifting Martinelli an opportunity to slot the ball into an empty net.
Taking responsibility for the incident, Van Dijk told Sky Sports after the game, “I take full responsibility for that. That is a big moment in the game. I should have made a better decision – it hurts for me. 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.”
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Refusing to shift blame to Alisson, Van Dijk acknowledged the physical nature of the game and the split-second decisions at the highest level. He emphasized his commitment to ensuring such mistakes do not recur.
Reflecting on the match, Van Dijk expressed the disappointment of losing in the manner they did, especially given the unnecessary nature of the errors. Despite the setback, he vowed to work hard and return stronger.
While Liverpool maintains its position at the top of the Premier League, the lead has narrowed to just two points. With Manchester City five points behind and having played two games fewer, the title race has become increasingly competitive.