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Van Dijk on Late Brighton Equalizer: “I’m Still Proud of My Team”

Defensive miscues means Liverpool ended the day with a 2-2 draw rather than the victory that at times they seemed set up for.

Brighton & Hove Albion v Liverpool FC - Premier League Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

In a season in which it has felt at times as though Liverpool is destined to always concede first—usually before coming back for the victory—Sunday’s game against Brighton saw the Reds looking solid and largely unthreatened in a tight, high-pressing midfield battle.

Then, a mistake. Virgil van Dijk under-hit a pass to Alexis Mac Allister. The Liverpool captain wasn’t under pressure, and even an on-weight ball would have put his teammate in a spot of bother given he had three players tight to him. It led to a turnover and a Brighton goal.

“It’s a risky ball,” Van Dijk acknowledged. “But obviously we try to play out from the back and unfortunately these things can happen in football and you get punished immediately at the highest level. The way we bounced back was a great reaction and that was positive.”

While some might not appreciate the high-risk approach, it’s clear that’s how Liverpool want to play—and having always embraced a more aggressive approach, that mindset appears if anything strengthened early in the 2023-24 season, and so far it’s worked on balance.

It also for a time seemed as though it wouldn’t matter, with Liverpool coming back to level the game and then go 2-1 up before another defensive miscue led to a Brighton equalizer and 2-2 final score at a time when it felt like the Reds were set up to take all three points.

“I think [Andy Robertson] heard a shout and he thought it was Alisson,” Van Dijk said of Brighton’s equalizing goal. “It’s a miscommunication and shouldn’t happen. But nobody wants to make mistakes. Unfortunately this was a miscommunication that cost us a goal.

“But overall I’m still proud of my team and there’s a lot of good things that we have been showing over the last couple of weeks. Now the international break is coming up and we have to get through that healthy and then back for a very interesting couple of games.”

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