Virgil van Dijk reveals emotions after controversial Tottenham defeat

Virgil van Dijk has spoken of the 'pride' he felt for his team after Saturday's last-gasp defeat to Tottenham.

The Reds suffered a 2-1 loss at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, as Joel Matip's own goal confirmed a disappointing end to a controversy-filled evening that saw Jurgen Klopp's side shown two red cards and denied a legitimate goal.

The match and its officiating has been much-discussed since the final whistle, with even Klopp admitting he thinks the fixture should be replayed (though he conceded it probably won't be).

Speaking to Liverpool's official matchday programme, Van Dijk focussed on the positives of the team's mentality, despite the Reds losing their unbeaten status in 2023/24.

"It isn't very often that you lose a game and the strongest emotion you feel along with the obvious disappointment is pride, but this is exactly how I felt after our defeat to Spurs at the weekend," he said.

"I was proud to be captain of this club, proud to lead this team and proud of the supporters who backed us to the hilt when so much was going against us. That collective spirit can only serve us well going forward. Yes, the points are gone for good but there is nothing stopping us from using the positives and the biggest one for me was definitely the way that we all stuck together. Again, the result went against us, but in so many ways this was Liverpool FC at its defiant and determined best.

"It wasn't as if we haven't shown these qualities already this season either. We have shown them in games in which we have gone behind and come back to win. We have shown them in other fixtures when we have been a player down but carried on fighting as if we still had a full 11 on the pitch. So, it is up to us to carry on getting up when we get knocked down, hopefully starting with the game tonight."

Should Van Dijk lead the team out against Union Saint-Gilloise in the Europa League on Thursday, it will mark his 50th game wearing the captain's armband.

READ MORE: Liverpool vs Union S-G – Predicted Lineup

The 32-year-old insisted that whoever plays in what is expected to be a heavily rotated lineup will give their all.

He continued: "I am sure the manager will have some big decisions to make in terms of who starts because we are in a busy period and we have had some tough challenges already but the same principle applies as always: whoever is selected has to do the job asked of them.

"I have spoken a few times this season about how important this is and how impressed I have been with our squad as a whole, so the key now is for all of us to carry on with the same approach.

"If we can do that we will see where it takes us. As we discovered on Saturday, you don't always get what you deserve in football, but experience also tells us that if you want to give yourself the best chance of succeeding you have to keep on doing the right things. That has to be our own objective, not only tonight but in every game we play."

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