Virgil van Dijk insists Barcelona-esque comeback against Atalanta is possible

Virgil van Dijk highlighted the areas in which Liverpool were 'punished' against Atalanta on Thursday, but insists his side believe an unlikely comeback is still possible.

Liverpool's hopes of ending Jurgen Klopp's tenure with a European trophy were left hanging by a thread at Anfield, as Atalanta stunned the Reds with a 3-0 victory.

The defeat ranks as Liverpool's joint-biggest at home in European competition, while Klopp admitted there was "nothing positive" to say about the game.

READ MORE: 5 talking points from Liverpool's 3-0 defeat to Atalanta

A combination of complacency, sloppy individual errors and questionable tactics left the Reds opponent against their clinical Italian opponents, with captain Van Dijk conceding he and his teammates weren't 'strong' enough on the night.

“With the man-marking system they do, we have to do much better and when we have the ball, have to keep the ball longer and be stronger,” he told TNT Sports.

“Obviously they won those 50-50 challenges most of the time, then the spaces were open. They punished us immediately and that’s what happens, a very disappointing match for all of us. But we can’t dwell on it too long, as in two days we play again in a very big game here.
“We’ll hurt tonight and from tomorrow we have to switch it back on to get a result.”

Hopefully we can score at least four goals

Next week's return leg in Bergamo will mark Klopp's final European match as Liverpool manager, unless the Reds manage to overturn the three-goal deficit.
It's a tall order but Liverpool under Klopp have previous of doing just that, famously overturning a 3-0 deficit in the Champions League semi finals against Barcelona in 2019. They will need another big European night to reach the Europa League final four this time around.
Right now it seems improbable, but Van Dijk, a veteran of the 2019 team, is not giving up hope.
“If you don’t believe there’s no point going to Italy,” he said defiantly. “Obviously, we make it very hard for ourselves going there 3-0 down.
“But like I said we have to focus on ourselves, on Crystal Palace, bounce back and the only way to do it is winning that game on the weekend.
“We need everyone to switch it back on and then we’ll focus on hopefully pulling out at least four goals over there.”
Share This Article