Virgil van Dijk has taken full responsibility for the calamitous error involving him and Alisson Becker in Liverpool’s defeat to Arsenal.
Arsenal sealed a 3-1 win on Sunday evening to reduce Liverpool’s lead at the summit of the Premier League to two points.
After Bukayo Saka’s opener, the Gunners handed the visitors an equaliser just before half-time with an own goal from Gabriel following a mix-up involving William Saliba and David Raya.
Arsenal restored the lead in the second-half however with Alisson and van Dijk at fault. Both players failed to deal with a ball over the top with van Dijk allowing it to bounce, attempting to get his body across to block Gabriel Martinelli.
The Arsenal forward found space between van Dijk and Alisson, free to tap home into an empty net.
Club captain van Dijk told Sky Sports the the moment ‘hurt’, admitting he made the wrong decision not to immediately clear the ball.
‘It was a tough day,’ he said. ‘The [goal for] 2-1, I take full responsibility for that, I should be have done better and made a better decision and it hurts. Especially for me but the rest of the team. It was a big turning point.
‘We were having opportunities, we were dominant, the atmosphere [at the Emirates] was a bit nervous.
‘We were dominant in the second half until that turning point. I should just try clear it but I made the wrong the decision, These things don’t happen too often but I will recover and I will take responsibility.
‘I’m not looking for excuses. It’s split second decisions you make, I chose to let the ball bounce and put my body in the way. Things happen. But I will try to make sure it never happens again.’
Former Liverpool defender labelled the incident ‘schoolboy stuff’ from the league leaders.
‘Van Dijk has just got to header it, don’t let it bounce,’ Carragher said. It is schoolboy stuff.
‘Yes, he [Martinelli] nudges him into the goalkeeper which puts Alisson off but Martintelli is well in his right to do that.
‘This is something you learn at the bottom level. Just deal with it. They have been fantastic for Liverpool but that was a howler.’