ReactionVirgil van Dijk assesses Liverpool's Champions League loss to Real Madrid

Published 15th March 2023

Virgil van Dijk rued the errors Liverpool made in their Champions League last-16 meetings with Real Madrid after they were eliminated on Wednesday night.

The Reds' exit from the competition was confirmed with Karim Benzema's 78th-minute, second-leg winner at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu that took the aggregate score in the tie to 6-2. 

Van Dijk spoke to BT Sport afterwards to offer his assessment on the contests with the La Liga side. Read on for the interview…   

On Liverpool's performance in Madrid...

Liverpool exit Champions League after Real Madrid defeat
15th March 2023

Match reportLiverpool exit Champions League after Real Madrid defeatLiverpool exited the Champions League knockout stages on Wednesday evening following a 1-0 defeat by Real Madrid at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.

I think if I'm honest the first half was quite even. It's always going to be a very difficult task to come here and turn it all around. But you try not to look ahead, you try to win obviously. In my time at Liverpool with the games we've played against Real Madrid, I've never won against them, so it's always something that we wanted to do – we wanted to win.

I think we created some dangerous moments in the first half. They had a couple of shots from distance as well and obviously with the quality they have on the break, especially Benzema dropping in, Vinicius with the speed and obviously his quality. It could always be dangerous on the break. It was tough but I think the damage was done in Liverpool and that's the most disappointing thing. 

On not finding rhythm in the game...

I think you play against a team who never get fazed a little bit. Even when you put them under pressure, even if [they] have difficult moments, they try to stay calm and obviously they have the players, if you look at Modric, Benzema – they're difference-makers and especially when they're under pressure. But still, I think in the first half we could have scored and it could be a totally different game. But today was definitely all about the small margins, and [in the] second half you try your absolute best and you just come too short.

Published 15th March 2023