EPL

Van Dijk: Liverpool's confidence is creeping away

By Sports Desk October 10, 2022

Virgil van Dijk admits Liverpool's "confidence is creeping away" after making their worst start to a Premier League campaign in a decade.

Liverpool's 3-2 loss to Arsenal in Sunday's contest at Emirates Stadium leaves them with 10 points from eight games – their lowest return since the 2012-12 season (nine).

The Reds have conceded 16 goals across their past 12 league matches and kept just two clean sheets, while conceding the opening goal of the game on 10 occasions.

And centre-back Van Dijk, who has come in for criticism for his performances this campaign, accepts a lack of belief is playing a part in Liverpool's disappointing run of form.

"Confidence is definitely a thing that plays a part. We're all human beings," he told Sky Sports.

"Sometimes you need a bit of confidence in certain moments. If it's not as high, it won't help in certain situations.

"Every human being needs confidence to perform at the highest level. If you're not winning, confidence is creeping away.

"We know we can turn it around but we have to work hard. That's the only thing to do and the only way forward as well."

Liverpool twice drew level in their enthralling contest with Arsenal, only for Bukayo Saka to claim victory for the home side with a 76th-minute penalty.

The spot-kick was awarded after Thiago Alcantara was adjudged to have fouled Gabriel Jesus, but Van Dijk does not believe it should have been given.

"Obviously it was a very tough game for both sides. We had good moments, we had bad moments," he said.

"Then it got decided by a penalty that from my point of view wasn't a penalty. But it goes so quick, I haven't looked in slow motion. 

"Unfortunately we couldn't get the points to bring with us back to Liverpool."

Liverpool are 10th in the table, 14 points adrift of pacesetters Arsenal with a game in hand, after failing to win any of their opening four league games for the first time in 12 years.

In contrast to their opponents' slow start, Arsenal have won at least eight of their first nine league games for only the fourth time in their history.

"We know they're in the best moment of their lives," Van Dijk added. "They've had a great season and we knew it was always going to be tough.

"But I think we had good moments and created good chances at times. It's hard to lose it by a penalty in my opinion, but it's the case, so we have to deal with that."

Liverpool switch focus back to the Champions League on Wednesday with a trip to Rangers, before hosting Manchester City on their return to league action next weekend.

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