Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk admits Aston Villa’s ability to win the “second ball battles” were key to Sunday’s 7-2 humiliation.
Villa produced 18 shots in total during the match and had scored four times before the half-time interval.
Asked what went wrong defensively, Van Dijk commented: “I felt the gaps were too high, the second-ball battles were lost many times.
“I think the goals helped them a lot, gave them confidence and the chances we missed didn’t help us either. It’s a bit of both.
“But what I said before, well done to Aston Villa.”
Van Dijk also stated: “What I said before, you can’t take the credit away from Aston Villa. Well done to them.
“But obviously in all aspects of the game we should have done much better. We have to be very hard with each other – and we will be. It’s key to not get crazy or anything but we have to be stepping it up.
“The performance level between the last game against Arsenal for the league and today was too big. All of us, everyone has to take responsibility.”
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