Premier League • England

Van Dijk describes Liverpool development after admitting one thing he didn’t understand in cup win

Virgil van Dijk lifts a corner flag

Virgil van Dijk described winning the Carabao Cup with Liverpool as “very special” – but did not understand why they weren’t allowed to do so within 90 minutes due to one of his own interferences.

Liverpool beat Chelsea 11-10 on penalties to win the League Cup for the first time in a decade. It is therefore the first time van Dijk has won the competition with the club. He was one of the many scorers in the penalty shootout.

The Dutchman has now won five trophies as a Liverpool player. It took a lot of effort for them to add this medal to his cabinet, but they got there in the end.

For van Dijk, who has been back to his best after returning from injury over the summer, this was a momentous day.

Van Dijk told Sky Sports (as transcribed by the BBC): “Very special. There was a lot of hard work, what we expected before the game. A lot of calm nerves.

“It was an intense game and offside goals were also a thing and that rule of just keeping playing on until whenever is annoying.

“It is something we have to consider taking out for next season. Unnecessary metres and challenges come from it.

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“The penalties overall were all quite good apart from the last one [which Kepa Arrizabalaga missed for Chelsea].”

It could have been a quicker win if a disallowed Liverpool goal had counted. Van Dijk’s centre-back partner Joel Matip thought he had put the Reds ahead during the 90 minutes.

However, VAR chalked the goal off due to van Dijk being in an offside position and being deemed to have interfering with a Chelsea marker.

Van Dijk did not understand disallowed goal

Virgil van Dijk taking a penalty for Liverpool

The defender disagreed, though. Van Dijk argued: “I told the ref I don’t understand. I wasn’t even participating in the moment; the ball went over my head and I did not even go for the ball.

“It is a game of challenges and you are allowed to block a move.

“I think we saw it when Manchester United played away at Burnley there was a similar thing that was also disallowed and I don’t understand it.”

Liverpool have been finding some form in recent weeks and this may well be the catalyst for further successes.

Van Dijk has been a key part of their growth in the Jurgen Klopp era. He commented on their confidence and how various members of their squad are adapting and performing.

The ex-Southampton star concluded: “We are matured and been through quite a lot over the last two seasons, injuries, the way we play or additions we have made.

“Thiago [Alcantara] could not start today but Naby [Keita] came in the last second of the warm up and was outstanding. We are playing with a lot of confidence.”

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