‘The bare minimum is fight’ – Liverpool captain admits they don’t deserve title

News Desk
Liverpool captain Virgil van Dijk
Liverpool captain Virgil van Dijk

Liverpool captain Virgil van Dijk admits they do not deserve to win the Premier League after the unacceptable way the players have allowed the season to end.

Just over a month ago they were chasing an unprecedented but unlikely quadruple but a week after exiting Europe their Premier League title hopes were left in tatters after losing 2-0 at Everton in the 244th Merseyside derby.

Already third favourites in the title race, defeat means Jurgen Klopp’s final season is likely to end with just the Carabao Cup and Van Dijk criticised the general lack of appetite to drag things back in their favour at Goodison Park.

READ: Liverpool limp from title race as Jurgen Klopp and Mohamed Salah run out of road

“Games likes these, the bare minimum is fight. We were lacking that at so many moments in games,” said the Netherlands captain.

“If you play like we did, obviously even if we create two or three clear-cut chances again, you don’t deserve to win the league.

“It’s crunch time and we’ve not been good enough in the way we finished the chances off, in the way we defended together and also the fight. I think we have to show much more.

“But we have to look in the mirror and each and every one of us has to think like… ‘Listen, you can’t accept this. You can’t accept the way we let our season end’.”

Klopp’s side look like they have been running on empty for the last month while also lacking the clinical edge which has for so long been a trademark.

Despite creating a handful of chances which they failed to take in the first half they petered out after the break in similar fashion to last week’s Europa League win over Atalanta in Bergamo when they needed to overturn a 3-0 first-leg deficit but managed just one goal.

Liverpool have not been playing well for a couple of months and have pulled a few results out of the fire but they have uncharacteristically crumbled at the key time.

“Obviously it’s a mix of everything. You can’t put a finger on it,” added Van Dijk.

“It’s confidence, inexperience, challenges, maybe afraid to make mistakes in this part of the season. I don’t know.

“It’s a mix but it brings us to the situation where we can’t accept this.

“We have to stick together. We can’t have groups blaming each other because that’s not how it works. It’s a team thing and I don’t blame anyone.

“I blame us as a team, as a group. Everyone has to look in the mirror. We can’t let the season end like this.”

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