The Netherlands international failed to deal with a long ball forward and after a mix-up with Alisson and an air-kick by the Brazilian ‘keeper, Martinelli was able to roll the ball into an open net to restore Arsenal’s lead.
Leandro Trossard added a third off the bench and Van Dijk was partly at fault for the Belgian’s strike too after failing to close him down and then deflecting the ball through Alisson’s legs and into the far corner.
The Liverpool captain owned up to his mistakes after the game and vowed to bounce back as Liverpool look to win the Premier League title for the first time since 2020.
What has Virgil van Dijk said?
Van Dijk spoke to Sky Sports after the defeat and admitted: “Eventually [it was] a very tough day, definitely. I think the 2-1 goal, I take full responsibility for that, but it’s a big turning point in the game.
“I should have done better, I should have made a better decision there. It hurts for me, and it hurts for the rest of the team. It was a big turning point in the game because I think especially after the break, we were so good.
“We had opportunities, we were dominant and I think the atmosphere started to become a little bit more nervous. Arsenal is a very good team and they will always try to stay in the game, but we were very dominant, especially in the second half,” he continued.
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) February 4, 2024
“And then came the turning point. It’s my responsibility. I should just clear it, but I made the split-second wrong decision and unfortunately these things happen sometimes in football. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that it hurts.
“These things haven’t happened too many times in my career but it’s a tough one. I will recover from this because I will learn from things that don’t go well, but I will take the responsibility.
“I’m not looking for excuses. At the highest level, it’s a split-second decision that you make. I chose to let the ball bounce and put my body in between. Alisson touched me a little and that’s why he couldn’t clear it.
“Things happen, and I take full responsibility for this. I will try to make sure these things don’t happen.
“It’s our first defeat since September. Obviously losing hurts, especially with the way we did it today. In so many ways it was unnecessary, but we take it game by game.”
Van Dijk concluded: “Like I said, it hurts for me, seeing all the fans coming all the way down. It’s not nice to be involved in mistakes, but I will be back. There’s no doubt about that. I will make sure these things don’t happen any more.”
Liverpool remain top of the Premier League table, despite the result, although Arsenal are now only two points behind Jurgen Klopp’s men and Manchester City will go level on points with the Reds if they win their two games in hand.