'We got what we deserved' - Van Dijk rues mistakes as Liverpool see centurion dreams quashed

Alexandre Lacazette goal Arsenal vs Liverpool EPL 15072020
Getty
The defender committed a rare blunder to allow Arsenal to cancel out Sadio Mane's opener, and another mistake from Alisson cost the Reds dearly

Virgil van Dijk insisted Liverpool were justly punished for their mistakes as Arsenal took three points to end the Reds' hopes of setting a new Premier League record. 

The newly crowned champions boasted 93 points going into Wednesday's game at the Emirates Stadium, a mark that left them needing seven from their last three outings to match Manchester City's record mark of 100 for a single season and nine to set a new benchmark in the English top flight. 

But in spite of Sadio Mane's early opener Arsenal proved more than a match, scoring through Alexandre Lacazette and Ryan Nelson to inflict the third league defeat of the season on Jurgen Klopp's men. 

Both goals came through costly individual errors, with Van Dijk's weak back-pass allowing Lacazette to equalise and Alisson contributing to Nelson's strike with his own poor distribution. 

Arsenal's only shots on target in the entire 90 minutes resulted in goals, but the Netherlands defender insisted that the result was fair. 

"The goals we gave them as a present," Van Dijk lamented to  Sky Sports  after the final whistle. 

"Until their first goal, it was totally us, we gave them two goals and it is difficult to come back. We got what we deserved.

"Until then there was nothing wrong, we played very well. So it's easy to blame us having the the title but until I made the mistake there was nothing wrong."

Klopp, however, tried to draw focus from his usually flawless centre-back, affirming that the entire team was at fault for the goal.

"Virg lost the ball, but I didn't see a lot of offers around. Nobody wanted the ball really," the manager told reporters.

"As a full pack, we took a break and that makes no sense. And Arsenal were there. We have to take that and learn from that."

While Liverpool can no longer record triple figures for 2019-20, they still have the opportunity to record the second-best campaign in Premier League history with wins over Chelsea and Newcastle United to close out a memorable season. 

Article continues below

Van Dijk recognised that ending the club's 30-year title drought was the main priority but pledged to keep fighting until the very end.

"I want to win the game, but we can't change that. We will try to win the last two games but can't forget we have had a fantastic season," he added.

"Being champions is a dream come true."

Close