Klopp dismisses Van Dijk row, but admits Liverpool star did break tactical ‘rule’

Date published: Sunday 31st October 2021 11:29 - Jonny Whitfield

Virgil van Dijk Liverpool v Brighton October 2021

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp brushed off his second-half row with Virgil van Dijk during the 2-2 draw with Brighton as “normal”.

The coach barked orders at his centre-back as the Reds came under pressure at Anfield. Despite taking a two-goal lead, Brighton fought back. Indeed, they claimed a point in the second half.

Former Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana proved influential for the Seagulls after the break.

He got the assist for Leandro Trossard’s equaliser and had a shot saved himself, as Liverpool struggled to get to grips with the momentum shifting in the away side’s favour.

Amid his side’s struggles, Klopp shouted orders at Van Dijk. Asked about his conversation, he played the incident down. However, he did admit that the centre-back did make an error.

“Don’t know 100 per cent, we have conversations quite a lot of times,” the manager told the Daily Mail.

“So, there is never one explanation, you cannot now make a massive story of that because I said before we didn’t defend the half-spaces right. That’s the problem.

“When the guy on the ball is not under pressure, you cannot have a high last line, so then the last line drops in that moment and all of a sudden we put pressure on it and then they have to push up again.

“So, these kind of things, we have clear rules, clear moments for when we do what. It’s not an easy one. Now I know it [what the exchange was about], it was the one where [Solly] March was pretty much the only player up-front for Brighton and Virgil was too far away.

“In that moment it was about that but yes, a normal coach-player talk.”

The fact that Chelsea beat Newcastle 3-0 elsewhere on Saturday did not help Liverpool’s cause. Indeed, the Blues now sit three points clear at the top of the Premier League table.

Klopp slams Liverpool body language

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp smiling in the sun 2021

Klopp also said that he did not like Liverpool’s body language as they dropped two points at home.

“It feels like a defeat,” he said. “It’s not only because we were 2-0 up and didn’t win, it’s because the game I saw, we scored two of the most beautiful goals I’ve ever seen us score, which were disallowed.

“The pressing goal for Sadio was just unlucky. If you want to teach pressing, you would show this situation. But disallowed for handball, I guess.

“Top moments in the first half where we showed how we can hurt Brighton. Played some top passes through the centre and played really good football but were only 2-0.

“In the second half, we were not good enough. The body language I didn’t like it all. It was like ‘oh my God, it’s really tough’. Yeah, it was clear before the game.”

Liverpool return to action on Wednesday when facing Atletico Madrid at Anfield in the Champions League.


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