Everything was a complete mess for Jurgen Klopp’s side as a series of errors clubbed with a red card to Konate has given Manchester City the opportunity to reclaim the top spot on the table if they can win both their games in hand.
Overall, it was a poor performance from the Liverpool team but Roy Keane feels a finger can be pointed at Van Dijk for all three goals and that the captain should have stepped up to lead with example in such a crunch match.
The pundit said on Sky Sports: “He got that wrong (for the first goal). If you go out, you’ve got to get some sort of contact on the ball or make a tackle. He ends up in no man’s land, I think it’s really poor defending from an experienced player.
“Liverpool defensively and the goals they gave away, they were like a pub team today.
“I think defenders are complicating the game now. Just go and head that ball (for the second goal). It’s straightforward. He has been like that from the start of the game, even with some of his passing. People like them being casual, I don’t. Switch on and smell the danger, go and head the ball. He’s a big strong boy.
“Look at van Dijk, you’ve got to come alive and smell the danger. It’s almost like am I too cool to dive in or make a lunge?’
“It’s too little, too late. I blame him for the three goals. He’s entitled to have a bad game of course, but to give up three goals in such a big game, it could cost them at the end of the season.”
Van Dijk has been having a very solid campaign but his performance on Sunday was easily one of the worst in recent memory. The last time had had a poor outing was when Liverpool drew 1-1 vs Man City back in November.
On Sunday, he had a rating of just 6.5 out of 10 making just a single losing tackle throughout the 90 minutes. He made two interceptions and won only 67% of his contested ground duels.
We are sure Van Dijk will dust himself back in no time but the problems have just increased for Jurgen Klopp. Konate’s red card means the manager is now facing a slight defensive crisis, with Van Dijk and Joe Gomez being his only two remaining fit centre-backs. Fortunately, Andy Robertson is back, but against Brentford next weekend, Liverpool will need to be extremely cautious to avoid further defensive injuries.
This setback is merely a minor hiccup in an otherwise successful season for the Netherlands defender. However, the timing of this loss is quite unfavourable for Liverpool. Arsenal are now trailing them by just two points, and if Manchester City win both of their matches, Liverpool could slide down to the second position in the standings.