Virgil van Dijk said he takes ‘full responsibility’ for the error that handed Arsenal the lead in Liverpool’s 3-1 defeat at the Emirates.
Liverpool lost in the Premier League for the first time since September after falling to defeat at Arsenal, with the below-par Reds second-best on a disappointing afternoon in the capital.
Jurgen Klopp’s side had fortuitously cancelled out Bukayo Saka’s opener in first-half stoppage-time as Gabriel Magalhães turned into his own goal, but a glaring error from the Liverpool defence handed Arsenal back the advantage after the break.
Van Dijk and Alisson each failed to deal with a long ball forward with neither taking control, their mix-up allowing Gabriel Martinelli to steal the loose ball and turn into an open goal.
Leandro Trossard scored a third for Arsenal, who cut Liverpool’s lead at the top of the table to two points, and Van Dijk shouldered the blame for his part in the defeat.
“A tough day. I think the 2-1 [Martinelli’s goal] I take full responsibility for that,” the Dutch defender told Sky Sports.
“That is a big moment in the game. I should have made a better decision – it hurts for me.
“Like I said that was a big turning point in the game. After the break we were so good and had opportunities and were dominant, the atmosphere started to come nervous.
“The turning point is my responsibility, I should try to clear it.
“Obviously these things don’t happen too often in my career, but I will recover from this.
“It is a physical game and I am not looking for excuses. At the highest level it is a split decision.
“Alisson touched me a little bit and he couldn’t clear it, but I take full responsibility for this and I will try to make sure this doesn’t happen again.
“You play here obviously for every team in the league it is a tough place to go to.
“In the FA Cup we was under a lot under pressure, but we found a way.
“It hurts losing. The way we did it today and in so many ways it was unnecessary.
“It hurts for me and seeing the fans coming all the way down and the whole club it is not nice to be involved in mistakes, but I will work hard and be back.”