Klopp explains why Van Dijk was subbed off as Frank hits back at Liverpool boss’ dig

Date published: Tuesday 3rd January 2023 9:48 - Joe Williams

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk watches the game from the stands

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has revealed that Virgil van Dijk was taken off in their 3-1 loss to Brentford because he was feeling his hamstring.

The Netherlands international was brought off at half-time with the Reds 2-0 down and there was speculation between fans on social media that it was due to his performance.

However, Klopp explained that Van Dijk was only taken off because the Liverpool centre-back’s hamstring was giving him a bit of grief.

Klopp told reporters: “Virgil felt his hamstring a little bit. He said he was fine but when I said ‘we don’t take any risks’ the physios were quite happy with that. I think it’s nothing serious, but that’s why we changed him.”

Speaking about the three goals they conceded, Klopp added: “They use obviously the rules pretty well in their offensive set-pieces. They are extremely physical and in the end nobody knows where the ball is actually, and then it’s an own goal and that’s obviously very unlucky.

“Second goal I’m very disappointed with because we’d got away with the set-piece goal because of an offside but the next action is behind and we are again not ready, so that’s the goal I hate the most.

“And the third goal should not be a goal, easy as that. If you have ever played football and you are doing a full sprint and you get a slight push you go down because you cannot keep balanced, that’s how it is and you can see it with Ibou [Konate] but Stuart Atwell wanted to see it differently.”

Brentford were dangerous all night from set-pieces but Klopp claimed that referee Stuart Attwell missed a number of times the Bees “stretched the rules” from corners.

Klopp added to Sky Sports: “I’m not sure you can really control it all the time because each corner is a massive threat. They stretch the rules in these moments with full body contact.

“There was only one offensive foul on a set-piece tonight which was whistled and that was against us, which is really funny. Holding is holding, and pushing is pushing.

“It was more the game they wanted than the one we wanted. They could dictate it because of how it got whistled.

“The two corners they scored with, one was offside and the other one, of course we don’t behave perfectly, but they stretch rules. They are really pushing, they are really holding. That’s obviously what you can do.

“The third goal I can really not respect. The ref thought it wasn’t a foul and then VAR hides behind the phrase “clear and obvious”. The referee has to explain that, if anybody could ask him.

“There’s a reason why they are so successful with offensive set-pieces and still concede a lot of defensive goals around set-pieces, because there you cannot do the same stuff because in your own box, it would be a penalty.”

When asked about the comments from the Liverpool boss, Brentford boss Thomas Frank pulled a face and said: “I guess we have some very, very good refs, I think there are four on the pitch, and then we have a VAR room.

“It has never been more difficult to score a goal. Two of our goals were disallowed today, I think neither of them were flagged as offside so in a game [without VAR] we probably would have got them.

“But I’m of course happy that he praised us and it’s a credit to the good work we do about our offensive set-pieces.”

READ MORE: Liverpool duo ‘atrocious’ as ‘deluded’ Klopp needs to move four ‘dogsh*te’ midfielders on


More Related Articles