Virgil van Dijk gives verdict as doubts raised over Liverpool defence after Napoli defeat | Football | Sport
Liverpool have been brilliant this season but on Tuesday night suffered their first loss of the campaign, coming unstuck against a stubborn Napoli in a 2-0 defeat.
The Reds conceded a penalty, which Dries Mertens scored, thanks to some work from VAR, and then Van Dijk’s lazy pass led to Fernando Llorente’s goal.
But the Dutchman doesn’t believe there’s any cause for concern as his side, who have kept just one clean sheet this season, prepare to face Chelsea this weekend.
“We have been performing since the start of the season outstanding, and so there is no reason to panic,” he said.
“It shouldn’t be a wake up call – and in the game as well, we played well, we put them under pressure. There were a lot of positive things about tonight, the only thing not positive was the result.
“Napoli can cause any team problems at home – they have a lot of movement, a lot of runs in behind, and between the lines and it is not easy to defend against.
“But we did that pretty well I think, that’s my feeling after the game.
“They couldn’t put too much pressure on us, especially in the build up which they do a lot in their home games.”
Van Dijk then noted that it was the penalty which was awarded to Napoli that changed the game entirely.
The Ballon d’Or candidate added: “The penalty changed the game. It was a key moment, I felt it would be a draw until then. The penalty changed it, it was a killer and of course we felt it was harsh, but we can not change that now.
“It is not easy to put them under pressure in this stadium with these fans, so there are many positive things we can take away from the performance. That is the key now looking towards the next game.”
Liverpool have already beaten Chelsea once this season, in the Super Cup final on penalties.
The two sides meet again on Sunday at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League.