Wenger digs out Liverpool star Van Dijk for crucial error Barcelona loss

Date published: Thursday 2nd May 2019 5:11

Liverpool's Brazilian midfielder Fabinho, Liverpool's Senegalese forward Sadio Mane, Liverpool's English midfielder Jordan Henderson, Liverpool's Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk, Liverpool's Brazilian forward Roberto Firmino and Liverpool's English defender Joe Gomez reacts during the UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg football match between Barcelona and Liverpool at the Camp Nou Stadium in Barcelona on May 1, 2019. (Photo by JOSE JORDAN / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOSE JORDAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Arsene Wenger has held Virgil van Dijk accountable for his errors during Liverpool’s 3-0 defeat to Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final first leg.

Lionel Messi scored a brace to reach an impressive milestone in a Barcelona shirt, after Luis Suarez had put Barcelona ahead.

It leaves Liverpool with a mountain to climb in next Tuesday’s reverse fixture, as Jurgen Klopp’s side failed to get an away goal and will now need to match tonight’s scoreline.

The game started at a fast pace, with chances for both teams. However, it was Barcelona who broke the deadlock after 26 minutes. Luis Suarez’s run in the box was not picked up by Virgil Van Dijk or Joel Matip, and former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger noticed.

“Physically they are stronger than Barcelona, especially pace-wise,” he told beIN Sports.

“Barcelona made two or three yellow cards because they could not even run with Liverpool’s players. But when they get into the final third Barca have that quality. One chance, one goal.

“It is very interesting because Virgil van Dijk [usually] covers, but he should go with Suarez to cover that goal. Especially from a centre-back with that quality… he let’s him go. At the start his position is not bad, but he refuses to respond. ​

“It’s a great goal because the cross is fantastic. For a goalscorer it is ideal. It is marvellous football.”

 

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