Virgil van Dijk makes admission over huge error in defeat to Arsenal

Virgil van Dijk has taken responsibility for the comedy of errors that led to Arsenal’s second goal in their 3-1 victory over Liverpool on Sunday.

Having been hammered in the first half, Liverpool battled their way back into the game in the early stages of the second half, but one long ball up to Gabriel Martinelli with 25 minutes to go ultimately changed proceedings.

The awkward bounce caught out both Van Dijk and goalkeeper Alisson, who came charging off his line. The Liverpool duo failed to clear the ball and instead handed it to Martinelli to slot into an empty net.

“I take full responsibility for that,” Van Dijk told Sky Sports after the game. “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.

Virgil van Dijk, Alisson Becker, Gabriel MartinelliVirgil van Dijk, Alisson Becker, Gabriel Martinelli

Van Dijk refused to blame Alisson / Shaun Botterill/GettyImages

“It is a physical game and I am not looking for excuses. At the highest level it is a split decision. Alisson touched me a little bit and he couldn’t clear it, but I take full responsibility for this and I will try to make sure this doesn’t happen again.

“Obviously, for every team in the league [the Emirates] is a tough place to go to. In the FA Cup, we were under a lot under pressure, but we found a way.

“It hurts losing. The way we did it today and in so many ways it was unnecessary. It hurts for me and seeing the fans coming all the way down and the whole club it is not nice to be involved in mistakes, but I will work hard and be back.”

Liverpool remain top of the Premier League but have seen their lead cut to just two points. Manchester City are five points behind but have played two games fewer than their rivals.

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