Virgil van Dijk says Liverpool’s players had a ‘confrontational’ meeting after their 4-1 loss to Napoli. The Reds needed to regroup.
Liverpool suffered an awful defeat to Napoli last week – one Jurgen Klopp believes is the worst in his time at the club. Yes, even more than the 7-2 against Aston Villa.
It was a performance where Liverpool deserved nothing and couldn’t even curse their luck. In fact, Napoli will have gone in at half-time annoyed that luck hadn’t gone their way. They’d missed a penalty, hit the post and had one cleared off the line despite being 3-0 up.
The Reds needed to regroup, then. Their form was poor as it was but the defeat to Napoli saw things sink even lower. So how did they react? Virgil van Dijk explained after Liverpool’s 2-1 win over Ajax, per De Gerlander.
“Immediately after that game at Napoli, we knew things had to be different,” said Van Dijk. “That was something that should never have happened, but we are human too.
“The day after, we had an important meeting with each other. It was confrontational for everyone. I also felt affected after that match. How we defended there was painful to watch.
“Then it’s about going back to basics. For us that is pressure, passion, energy, pressure forward. I think we did that happily at times tonight. I think we showed a good response.”
Liverpool’s Napoli loss
The important thing, then, is that the ‘confrontational’ meeting appeared to work. Liverpool were much improved against Ajax in just about every area of the pitch.
It wasn’t quite perfect, but defensively, the display was night and day. Liverpool only gave up one shot on target – unfortunately, it did go in, though.
Ajax weren’t able to create at will, however, and that’s the main positive of the night. That and Liverpool’s fight to find a late winner – a winner that puts their Champions League campaign on track.