Virgil van Dijk admits Liverpool were punished for their mistakes in Atalanta defeat

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Liverpool captain Virgil van Dijk admitted they were punished for making too many mistakes in their 3-0 defeat to Atalanta in the first leg of the Europa League quarter final.

Jurgen Klopp’s side were stunned by the Italians and fell to their first defeat at Anfield in 33 games as they failed to bounce back from the draw against Manchester United last weekend.

The Reds had opportunities early on but then faltered, and two goals from former West Ham striker Gianluca Scamacca and a late goal from Mario Pasalic left them facing an uphill task in the return leg.

A very disappointing night for Liverpool

Klopp made six changes to last weekend’s his starting line-up, and even with great options available from the bench the German couldn’t find an answer to Gian Piero Gasperini’s superior game plan as the Italians punished slack defending and a lack of cutting edge in attack.

It was a disappointing evening for Liverpool and the captain admitted they made too many individual mistakes.

it was disappointing night for Van Dijk in the Europa League.

“It’s half time but 3-0 is not great” , the Dutchman said to TNT Sports.

“Too many individual mistakes and we got punished. It was bad.

“With their man-marking system, we had to do much better and keep it longer and stronger. They won most the 50-50s and the spaces were open.

“They punished us immediately, it’s a very disappointing night. But we can’t dwell on it for too long, we have a big game here on the weekend.

“If you don’t have belief there’s no point going to Italy, we’ve made it hard for ourselves but we focus on Crystal Palace.

“The only way to bounce back is winning that game. We have to switch back on then we’ll focus on scoring at least four goals over there.”

The Reds travel to Italy next Thursday for the return leg requiring nothing short of a miracle to progress.

Before that though, they have to keep themselves in the title race by picking up three points at home to Crystal Palace this Sunday at 2pm.

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