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“No one knows” – Virgil van Dijk talks referee confusion after West Ham defeat

Virgil van Dijk conceded Liverpool took a “proper knock” in the 3-2 defeat at West Ham and acknowledged the Reds needed to “be more composed and patient” at crucial junctures.

The Reds were their own worst enemy at the London Stadium, starting from the fourth minute on as Alisson experienced a night that was far from the standard he has set in the previous games.

He wasn’t the only one, with Liverpool not showing the control and composure that has served them so well and West Ham seized the moment and capitalised on their strengths.

There was conjecture over if the opener, considered an Alisson own goal, should or should not have been a foul on Liverpool’s No. 1.

Jurgen Klopp was clear in his view, saying: “You need normal decisions from a referee and he did not do that.”

And Van Dijk shared his confusion over what fans have long considered inconsistent rules from one game to the next.

“The first goal counts. I saw the whole time Alisson was being man-marked,” Van Dijk told Sky Sports. “With the rules, no one knows what is allowed. It could have been a foul.”

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, November 7, 2021: Liverpool's goalkeeper Alisson Becker is fouled before West Ham United's opening goal, but it ws allowed to stand, during the FA Premier League match between West Ham United FC and Liverpool FC at the London Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Frustration was evident from that point on and Van Dijk, who laid claim to a handful of crucial challenges, offered an honest assessment of the Reds’ approach and what was lacking during important junctures of the match.

“A proper knock but we have to pick ourselves up,” Van Dijk added. “An intense game.

“First half there was nothing wrong, they defended well and we scored a deserved equaliser.

“Second half we were a bit too rash. We wanted the 2-1 a bit too much. They gambled on the counter-attacks and it leaves an open game.

“Sometimes you have to be more composed and patient and keep the ball a little bit longer.”

Liverpool dominated the ball and the game’s chances but a clinical edge evaded them when it was needed and on the flip side too many mistakes were capitalised on.

The international break affords a chance to reset ahead of a frantic festive period, one Liverpool can ill afford to take a similar stumble throughout.

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