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Virgil van Dijk’s honest verdict as Liverpool beat Leicester with own goals

Leicester defender Wout Faes suffered the ignominy of scoring two own goals at Anfield to hand Liverpool a 2-1 victory.

Liverpool's Darwin Nunez shoots towards Leicester City goalkeeper Danny Ward. Picture date: Friday December 30, 2022.© PA

Kevin PalmerSunday World

Virgil van Dijk didn’t try to hide his disappointment as he reflected on Liverpool’s performance in their 2-1 win against Leicester at Anfield.

Leicester defender Wout Faes suffered the ignominy of scoring two own goals at Anfield to hand Liverpool a victory which moved them within touching distance of the top four.

And when the Belgian, in his first season at the club after a £15million move from Reims, thought his embarrassment could not get any worse he was taunted by second-half chants of ‘shoot’ from the Kop whenever he touched the ball.

The 24-year-old’s calamitous seven-minute spell leading up to half-time handed Liverpool a lifeline they barely deserved after comedic defending of their own had allowed Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall to waltz down the middle of the pitch unopposed to score from Leicester’s first attack.

"At times, I thought we were poor today,” declared Van Dijk.

"It's a cliche but it's important to get the three points and win. We tried to get in the game but we weren't good enough and we know that.

"We won, which is positive, but there are plenty of things we have to improve on.

"We had a very good game in Birmingham (beating Aston Villa on St Stephen’s Day) and we tried to keep that going.

"At times, we were too quick and lost the ball in difficult situations. We were open and they have players who can take advantage. We have to take the three points, be confident and move on."

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp backed up Van Dijk’s comments, as he suggested fortune went the way of his team.

"We were a bit lucky in the first half - we were too passive and too deep - it was never helpful,” said Klopp.

“It was exactly what they wanted. We played into their hands. We were too open.

"We forced the goals and it was unlucky for the defender. We improved in the second half - it's not a shiny night but it's super, super important in this intense period - especially these games. We have to win these games."

Van Dijk is believed to be have played a role in encouraging Cogy Gakpo to seal his move from PSV Eindhoven to Liverpool and he gave his first public comments on the arrival of his Dutch international team-mate.

"Hopefully a lot. He's a good player,” he added.

"I know how it is to come in in January. We have to give him time and the real fans will. He has to get his head down.

"I spoke to him and could only say good things because I've enjoyed my time here and have been very successful. If it had been me, it would have been an easy decision to make.

"I didn't need to convince him but if he had any questions, I could have answered."

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