Van Dijk slams shock Liverpool defeat as 'unacceptable'
Virgil van Dijk slammed Liverpool’s defeat as "unacceptable" after their 44-game unbeaten run in the Premier League ended last night.
The skipper said: ‘It’s not acceptable that we lose 3-0 in that way. Losing hurts. The record (matching Arsenal’s Invincibles) is for the media and people talking about it – we didn’t mention it once. We want to win the next game and strike back. That’s the only way forward."
When questioned about Liverpool’s fragile defensive displays of late, which also saw them having to fight back to pip West Ham 3-2, Van Dijk added: ‘I don’t agree too much with you. The last game one set-piece and one good goal, but today it should be better, clear as that.
"If you look at the whole season we have been good defensively, the most clean sheets in the league. We didn’t create many big opportunities. We shouldn’t take credit away from Watford. We have to look at ourselves, we have to improve again but it’s a tough one to take."
Watford captain Troy Deeney praised the effort of his team, saying: "This was our best performance by a country mile. No one gave us a prayer or a hope for this one. Every single man was quality today.
"We’re realists, we know we’re not technically as good as them. We know what position we’re in and we’re fighting for everything."
He revealed that manager Nigel Pearson had been expecting more of him in recent weeks.
"The gaffer is quality. Without blowing smoke up his backside he’s been different class, treated us with respect,’ said Deeney.
‘He hammered me this week and said I needed to be better – hopefully that keeps him off me for a few weeks."
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp was sporting in defeat, saying: "You have to accept it. It’s not so easy, but it’s the proof that we were not good enough tonight."
Klopp’s plans might change now. The Bournemouth game is important so that one blip doesn’t extend into a run.
if Liverpool had beaten Watford, he might have picked a stronger team for their cup tie at Chelsea on Tuesday, knowing he could then give some players a rest at home to Bournemouth.
The famous front three of Salah, Firmino and Mane might be needed for Anfield on Saturday and then Atletico Madrid. Hence, the FA Cup tie could see a weakened line-up again, even if it reduces Liverpool’s chances of winning the treble.Daily Mail