Heading into Sunday’s game against Arsenal, Liverpool had the best defensive record in the Premier League thanks to their core of centre halves Virgil van Dijk and Ibrahima Konaté and goalkeeper Alisson Becker.
Three goals against, with each of the trio primarily to blame for one of the goals, means the Reds can now only claim to be the defensive equals of Arsenal, with the Gunners ending the day 3-1 victors over Liverpool.
“I should have done better,” Van Dijk reflected. “I should have made a better decision. It hurts for me, and for the rest of the team. It was a big turning point because especially after the break we were so good.”
Liverpool were fortunate to head into the half level, having been outplayed but with a late equalizer after Luis Diaz forced a Gabriel own goal. Early in the second, they looked poised to take advantage of their position.
Then, Van Dijk allowed a long ball to bounce rather than heading clear, with the centre half and Alisson miscommunicating to compound the error and gifting Gabriel Martinelli with an open goal for Arsenal’s second.
Arsenal’s first had come when Konaté was caught flat-footed by Gabriel Martinelli leading to a Bukayo Saka goal. Eventually, their third came when Alisson was nutmegged by Leandro Trossard in stoppage time.
“Arsenal are a very good team but we were dominant in the second,” Van Dijk added. “Then came the turning point. It’s my responsibility; I should just clear it. Unfortunately these things happen sometimes in football.
“But that doesn’t take away from the fact that it hurts. It’s a tough one, it’s not nice to be involved in mistakes, but I will be back. There’s no doubt about that. I will make sure these things don’t happen anymore.”