Virgil van Dijk believes Liverpool will return from Singapore with both plenty of positives and work to do following a 4-3 friendly defeat by Bayern Munich.
The Reds’ new captain powered in his team’s second goal of Wednesday’s match with a towering header that put them 2-0 up inside the opening half an hour, after Cody Gakpo had drilled in an early opener at the National Stadium.
Bayern then hit back and were level by the interval courtesy of Serge Gnabry and Leroy Sane, but Luis Diaz’s smart finish again edged Liverpool in front in the second half.
However, late strikes by Josip Stanisic and Frans Kratzig meant it was the Bundesliga champions who won an entertaining, high-tempo pre-season encounter.
Post-match, Van Dijk spoke to Liverpoolfc.com about the game, which was Jürgen Klopp’s squad’s final commitment in Asia before flying back to Merseyside.
Read our interview with the skipper below.
On what Liverpool can take from the match…
So many good things, so many things that we have to improve. But yeah, obviously a good opponent, a very good opponent, and they punish you if you’re not on it for a split-second and that’s what happened today. But overall there were so many good moments, especially with the ball I think we showed a lot of improvement, but there is still work to do and that’s what we are going to do.
On the brilliant link-up between Diogo Jota and Gakpo, followed by a superb finish from the latter, for Liverpool’s early opener…
We have the quality to punish them if they also make a split-second mistake and that’s what we did. Unfortunately we are not on the winning side today, but obviously it’s pre-season, it doesn’t really matter that much luckily. It’s about the progress that we have to make and we have to learn from certain situations and that’s what we are going to do. It’s been amazing to be here again, seeing all the fans, the love, the games that we played, the training sessions we have had. It’s been intense but obviously very good and I think we can go back home with a very positive feeling.
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On his goal…
We work on set-pieces every day and in my opinion I should be more clinical at times as well, so that’s what I am working on and today I was free and I could score.
On whether it is beneficial to play a team of Bayern’s calibre in pre-season…
Yeah, 100 per cent. Obviously we want to play on the highest level, we want to compete with the highest level players and teams and you have to be on it every second of the game. Unfortunately in a couple of moments in the game we weren’t and they punish you, that’s how it is – we can do that as well to the other team. We have to find a way to stay more than focused for 95 minutes and obviously don’t concede but like I said, we are still in pre-season, we made changes, the intensity is up so we have to keep going.