Virgil van Dijk has revealed he and his teammates were lost for words in wake of their dramatic Champions League last 16 exit to Atlético Madrid on Wednesday night.
It looked as though the Reds were on course to progress to yet another Champions League quarter-final after they went 2-0 at the beginning of extra time courtesy of Roberto Firmino’s strike.
However, after putting a considerable amount of pressure on the Atlético goal for the first 95 minutes of the contest, Jürgen Klopp’s side conceded three times in the last 20 minutes of play to Diego Simeone’s rugged and ruthless side.
And, after the game, centre-back van Dijk shed some light on the mood of the dressing room following such a painful European exit.
As reported by the Metro, when asked if the players spoke to each other in the dressing room, the Dutchman admitted: “Not a lot. But, you know, the manager obviously spoke a bit.
“Obviously everyone can expect that everyone is disappointed. No one wants to go out of the competition. Especially because of the way we played tonight, when we had opportunities.”
Van Dijk was then questioned on how such a painful loss could impact on the remainder of Liverpool’s season, saying: “It’s reality. We’re out of it, we have to deal with it. We have to go again.”
“We know how we have been performing throughout the whole season, and we won’t take that for granted. What other people say from outside, when things are not going well for two or three games, it’s not a problem.”
With Liverpool a monumental 25 points ahead of their closest Premier League rivals Manchester City, their first top flight title for 30 years is all but assured. Yet, after last week’s FA Cup exit to Chelsea, the Reds are no longer competing in any other competitions.
Yet Van Dijk was keen to point out that, despite last night’s exit from Europe, Liverpool have still had a phenomenal campaign.
“Everyone can have their opinion, but we don’t need to forget that we have been unbelievable all season basically. Obviously we wish to be in all competitions still, but we are not.”
He added: “Top of the league and should be positive. That’s difficult at this point, because we lost tonight and are out of the Champions League, but we put our focus back on that when we are back in on Friday.”
Liverpool return to Premier League action on Monday night, where they travel to Merseyside rivals Everton. And, if Man City were to lose at Burnley on Saturday, a victory for the Reds would see them crowned the champions of England with eight games to spare.