Jurgen Klopp hopes his departure from Liverpool marks the start of something special, rather than an end, after imploring the Reds to keep believing in an emotional farewell.

Liverpool manager Klopp announced back in January he would leave at the end of this campaign, signing off with a 2-0 win over Wolves at Anfield on day where the Reds celebrated their much-loved boss.

Alexis Mac Allister and Jarell Quansah were both on target in the first half after Nelson Semedo's 28th-minute red card, though the result mattered for little in truth with the focus on Klopp's exit.

The Anfield crowd filled up earlier than normal before kick-off to serenade their German manager, who leaves with a Premier League crown and Champions League glory to his name, and those tributes continued throughout Sunday's victory.

Klopp was emotional on the touchline as Anfield's Kop End raised as one to laud their departing boss, who urged Liverpool to back incoming manager Arne Slot and create further history on Merseyside.

"It doesn't feel like an end," Klopp said on the pitch, microphone in hand and addressing the packed-out Anfield. 

"It just feels like a start. Today I saw a football team play full of talent, youth, creativity, desire, and greed. That's one part of development, that's what you need obviously.

"In these few weeks where I have had too much attention, I realised lots of things. People say I turned them from doubters into believers. That's not true, you did it.

"Nobody tells you to stop believing. This club is in a better moment than a long time.

"We have this wonderful stadium, training centre and you – the superpower of world football, wow.

"We decide if we are worried or excited. We decide if we believe. We decide if we trust or don't trust. Today I am one of you and I keep believing. I stay believing 100 per cent.

"Obviously I saw a lot of people crying and I will tonight too because I will miss people but change is good. Everything will be fine because the basics are 100 per cent there."

Klopp brings his nine-year tenure at Liverpool to an end as Feyenoord head coach Slot prepares to move to Anfield next term.

Former Borussia Dortmund head coach Klopp, before starting an impromptu chant to celebrate the incoming Slot, wants Liverpool supporters to welcome their new leader with open arms.

"Thank you," he said, before referencing his own song from the crowd. "If you sing that song next year, that would be funny.

"You welcome the new manager like you welcomed me. You go all in from the first day, you keep believing, you push the team. I'm one of you now, I love you to bits.

"You are the best team in the world!"

Klopp led Liverpool to the club's highest-ever league points tally (99 in 2019-20), best-ever league winning run (18 from October 2019 to February 2020), and most wins and goals in a single season in all competitions (46 wins, 147 goals in 2021-22).

He leaves Liverpool with 209 wins from 334 Premier League games, with his Reds scoring 714 goals and conceding just 331 across his successful period at Anfield.

Jurgen Klopp brought his remarkable Liverpool reign to an end with a 2-0 victory over 10-man Wolves at Anfield, capping a memorable Premier League tenure with the Reds.

Klopp announced back in January his intention to leave Liverpool – who finish third in the league this term – and Sunday's triumph marked a fitting farewell for his nine-year stay on Merseyside.

Nelson Semedo's first-half dismissal opened the door for Liverpool to capitalise as Alexis Mac Allister, who was scythed down by the right-back for the red card, struck first after 35 minutes.

Jarell Quansah doubled the hosts' lead soon after in the opening 45 minutes as Liverpool eased to a final-day victory, with this defeat ensuring Gary O'Neil's Wolves end the season 14th in the table.

The Anfield crowd entered the stadium unusually early to create a roaring atmosphere for Klopp's farewell, but Liverpool were slow to get going after the emotional pre-match build-up.

A nervy opening almost proved the home side's undoing as Hwang Hee-Chan arrowed narrowly wide, with Virgil van Dijk denied at the other end just moments earlier.

Yet Wolves' encouraging showing was turned on its head when Semedo was shown a straight red card – following a VAR check recommending a review – for an over-the-ball lunge on Mac Allister's ankle.

Making use of that one-man advantage, Harvey Elliott floated into right-wing space before curling for Mac Allister to flick a neat header into the top-left corner.

Wolves suffered another blow just six minutes later as Mohamed Salah volleyed from Cody Gakpo's flick-on before Quansah prodded home with a simple finish from point-blank range.

The one-way traffic continued in the second half as Luis Diaz missed a glorious opportunity to make it 3-0, smashing against the crossbar with the goal gaping after Gakpo had rounded Sa.

Mac Allister deflected narrowly over soon after Sa had thwarted Gakpo in a one-on-one situation, while Van Dijk blocked an open goal for Matheus Cunha in a rare Wolves chance on Alisson's target.

Matt Doherty thought he had sliced the deficit with five minutes remaining, but the Wolves substitute was caught fractionally offside as Klopp signed off with a comfortable victory.

Klopp's Kop farewell

Liverpool's Kop End at Anfield stood in unison for one final time, waving goodbye to their great manager Klopp, who guided the Reds to eight trophies across his impressive spell.

His trophy-laden spell ends with Champions League glory and a Premier League crown as the most memorable moments of what was a storied tenure on Merseyside.

Klopp leaves Liverpool with 209 wins from 334 Premier League games, with his Reds scoring 714 goals and conceding just 331 across his successful period at Anfield.

Super Salah

Klopp's impressive tenure was aided by the likes of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Salah as part of a fearsome front three – though the Egyptian is the only one who remains with the club.

Salah made his 250th top-flight appearance for Liverpool here against Wolves, while he has scored 155 Premier League goals for Liverpool under Klopp, with only Thierry Henry (175 under Arsene Wenger) netting more under a single manager in the competition.

The Reds forward also has the second-highest combined goals and assists tally by any player in their first 250 appearances for a single club in the competition (223 – 155 goals, 68 assists) – behind only Henry for Arsenal (243 – 171 goals, 72 assists).

Unai Emery has praised "special" Jhon Duran after his late brace secured Aston Villa a point in a thrilling 3-3 draw with Liverpool in the Premier League on Monday.

The Reds looked to be on their way to a 3-1 despite Youri Tielemans’ strike after Cody Gakpo and Jarell Quansah added to Emiliano Martinez’s early own goal.

However, Duran's 79th-minute introduction changed the game as the Colombian scored twice in three minutes to salvage a draw.

Villa needed a win to secure a Champions League spot, but a point keeps their fate in their own hands despite Tottenham having a game in hand against Manchester City on Tuesday.

Emery was full of praise for his forward, acknowledging how important his goals could be by Sunday.

Speaking to Sky Sports, he said: "Jhon Duran is a special player. We have to try and help him. He is a good guy, and he needs a team behind him. He is getting our demands better. He was very clinical and today was important for him.

"Today we are celebrating with our supporters, we have to push it and keep working and be consistent. We were consistent all the season. The team was being mature and always consistent in our mind. Inch by inch we did it.

"We are very proud of the season. It is not enough at the moment to get fourth. Even after we scored the two goals, we had chances. We are celebrating the season here with our supporters in Villa Park.

"We are only thinking of us. We will prepare for our match on Sunday, everything is in our hands."

Villa were on a three-game losing run going into the Liverpool contest, and John McGinn highlighted the team’s strong mentality to avoid another defeat.

"It's a brilliant effort towards the end. We got a bit of luck. It's been a tough few weeks with lads coming back and playing through the pain barrier. This place got us going," he told Sky Sports after the game.

"There's some of us that have never been close to the Champions League in our life. The manager has a no-excuse mentality. People have written us off and we've floated under the radar. We'll have our Man City tops on tomorrow.

"Big Jhon [Duran] is a bit nuts and is a nightmare to have in your team, but he's got quality. We need to keep his feet on the ground over the next couple of days."

Jhon Duran's dramatic late double earned Aston Villa a thrilling 3-3 draw with Liverpool at Villa Park, but the hosts will still have to wait before they can be sure of sealing a top-four Premier League finish.

Duran came off the bench to score in the 85th and 88th minutes to help Villa avoid what had looked set to be a fourth straight defeat in all competitions.

Emiliano Martinez's own goal gifted Liverpool the lead two minutes in on Monday and Cody Gakpo restored that advantage for the visitors after Youri Tielemans had Unai Emery’s side level.

It looked like Jarell Quansah's first goal for the Reds early in the second half had sealed the victory, but Duran’s late intervention ensured Villa emerged from the game with a valuable point.

Villa remain in fourth place, now five points clear of Tottenham, their rivals for a Champions League spot. Spurs have a game in hand but must beat title-chasing Manchester City on Tuesday to take the battle to the final day. Liverpool stay third on 79 points.

Emery’s men found themselves behind just 61 seconds into the game with a moment to forget for Martinez as he failed to hold onto Harvey Elliott’s cross, letting it roll over the line.

Despite Liverpool’s bright start, Villa equalised against the run of play – Ollie Watkins pulled it back to Tielemans, who drilled a first-time shot into the bottom-left corner.

Gakpo restored the Reds’ lead in the 23rd minute, meeting Joe Gomez’s low cross to fire into an empty net, with the on-field decision confirmed after a VAR review for an offside in the build-up.

Diego Carlos should have dragged Villa level again before the break, but with an open net to aim for at close range, he could only guide his shot wide of the far post.

Liverpool started the second half brightly, with Quansah netting his first goal for the club with a towering, unmarked header into the top-left corner before offside decisions denied both sides more goals.

Watkins thought he had scored his 20th Premier League goal of the season when he guided it past Alisson, but it was disallowed following a VAR review as Leon Bailey set off too early in the build-up.

Minutes later, Elliott skipped in front of Mohamed Salah to poke Luis Diaz’s cross past a stranded Martinez, but the flag was up against the Colombian.

Duran’s introduction flipped the momentum back in Villa’s favour, as the substitute scored twice in three minutes to salvage a draw – he drilled the first into the bottom-corner after dispossessing Alexis Mac Allister before perhaps fortuitously flicking Moussa Diaby’s pass over Alisson and into the net.

Home comforts for Villa

Villa knew a win here would confirm fourth spot and Champions League football, and while they did not quite achieve that, this was a small and significant step towards securing it.

Though they were not helped by Martinez's mistake in the second minute, with the goalkeeper scoring the earliest own goal since Antolin Alcaraz (54 seconds) for Everton against Southampton in April 2014, Villa kept fighting to get a result.

The Villans are now unbeaten in their final home game of the season in each of the last five campaigns since their promotion back to the top-flight in 2019, winning three and drawing two. They have Duran to thank for that record extending, and they will now watch Spurs’ match against City with great interest.

Quick starts boost Reds

In Jurgen Klopp's penultimate game in charge of Liverpool, his side showed signs of their free-scoring best once more.

Quansah's header was the 140th goal across all competitions for Liverpool this season - it is their second-highest scoring campaign in the club's history after 2021-22 (147).

They made bright starts to both halves and were rewarded with goals inside the opening three minutes each time to put themselves in control.

However, another defensive lapse at the back, similar to the one they had against Tottenham, ultimately cost them two points. The Reds finish their season at home to Wolves on Sunday.

Jarell Quansah is relishing playing alongside Virgil van Dijk in Liverpool’s defence in a breakthrough season he admits has “exceeded all expectations”.

Twenty-one-year-old Reds academy product Quansah, who was on loan at Bristol Rovers last season, came off the bench to make his Liverpool first-team debut in August.

He has played a further 24 times for the Merseysiders in all competitions, and started each of the last four games, including the 1-1 Premier League draw with Manchester City and 4-3 FA Cup quarter-final loss at Manchester United, partnering Van Dijk at centre-back in both matches.

Quansah – also a League Cup winner in the past few weeks – has been referred to as “Virgil 2.0” by Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, and the England Under-21 international said: “A massive compliment.

“I think what he (Van Dijk) has been doing over the past five or 10 years has been unrivalled, especially in the Premier League. He’s had flawless seasons, he’s been a vital part of what Liverpool’s identity has been. So to play next to him is so good and I can learn so much from him.

“There’s times where he’s constructive and just says it how it is and tells me what I need to improve on, and there’s times where, especially on the pitch because the crowd’s loud, he needs to shout and make examples in different ways.

“You can’t go much wrong if you just listen to what he’s saying! He’s always in your ear, always talking, which is so helpful.”

Quansah has also expressed his gratitude to Klopp, who is departing at the end of the season.

He said: “I think you’ve got to see it as what he’s done for you and not the fact that he’s leaving, the opportunity he has given you, how much you’ve learnt from him.

“For me Jurgen is leaving, probably too early, but I get to play under a new manager and take his advice, and I’m thankful for everything he’s done for me.”

Quansah has been with Liverpool since he was five years old, while his international experience, prior to being called up to the Under-21s this season, included helping England Under-19s become European champions in 2022.

Asked about his emergence this term, Quansah said: “It’s been a lot of games, a surprise from what I expected really – it’s exceeded all expectations, to say the least.

“I probably haven’t had a ‘pinch myself’ moment – I think for me it’s just all about playing football, and it’s what I’ve been doing since I was five.

“Although the level has increased it’s just what I’ve been doing and what I enjoy. I’ve been striving for it and waiting for the opportunity and I’m thankful it’s come.

“When you’re younger you have all these aspirations, sometimes stupid aspirations of being the best player in the world.

“I think just being able to be in the position I’m in at the minute and learn from some of the best managers and players in the world hopefully puts me in good stead for the future. That is the goal, to be a starting centre-back for Liverpool and be in contention for England.

“I’m just learning the whole time. Hopefully in the summer I’ll get that moment where I’ll be like ‘it’s been a good year-and-a-half’. But I’m not the finished product. I’m not really reflecting on my career and thinking how good I’ve been because I can be so much better.”

On going up against Erling Haaland in the City match, Quansah said: “I think you sleep better after the game, you’re mentally drained! You have to just be on top of everything at every moment really. I was really, really focused.”

After the subsequent frustration of the “massive opportunity missed” in the cup tie at United, Quansah played in England Under-21s’ 7-0 Euro 2025 qualifying win over Luxembourg on Tuesday ahead of Liverpool resuming their league title push with Sunday’s home clash with Brighton.

Liverpool beat Chelsea in the Carabao Cup final on Sunday with a side containing a number of inexperienced youngsters due to a host of injuries to senior players. Here, the PA news agency looks at the fresh faces who took the chance to shine at Wembley.

Conor Bradley (starter)

A relatively familiar name among the group having been given an opportunity in the second half of the campaign in the absence of Trent Alexander-Arnold. The Northern Irish right-back, 20, who spent last season on loan at Bolton, has shown promise for his attacking and defensive qualities.

Bobby Clark (substitute)

Another to have been given a handful of opportunities in recent weeks, the 19-year-old is an attacking midfielder or forward. The son of former Newcastle midfielder Lee Clark, he joined the club from the Magpies in 2021 and signed a long-term contract last December.

James McConnell (substitute)

Also 19, the midfielder has featured a handful of times off the bench after making his debut against Toulouse in the Europa League in October. Joined Liverpool as an Under-15s player after catching the eye at Sunderland.

Jayden Danns (substitute)

An 18-year-old forward who only made his first-team debut as an 89th-minute substitute in the 4-1 win over Luton last Wednesday. Has been with the club since the age of eight and is the son of the much-travelled former Colchester, Crystal Palace and Bolton midfielder Neil Danns.

Jarell Quansah (substitute)

Warrington-born defender who has established himself in the first-team squad this season. The 21-year-old, who had a loan spell with Bristol Rovers last season, is a ball-playing centre-half who has come through the ranks at Liverpool after joining them at the age of five.

Liverpool’s Jarell Quansah insists he has achieved nothing yet because he is not classed as one of the world’s greats.

The defender has made his Anfield breakthrough this season and earned the faith of boss Jurgen Klopp.

The manager said this month he was surprised about his rapid rise, with Liverpool having considered sending Quansah out on loan again after he spent the second half of last season with Bristol Rovers in League One.

But the England Under-21 international, who made his Young Lions debut last month, has now made nine appearances for the Reds this season.

However, it is not enough for the ambitious 20-year-old, who wants to make a lasting mark on the game.

He said: “No (his season has not exceeded expectations), because no-one has said ‘Jarell Quansah is one of the best players in the world’ yet.

“No-one’s said ‘he’s a top centre-back’. No-one’s said ‘he’s all this’, so until I’m regarded as at least one of the best players in the Premier League, then there is no reason for me to sit on what I’ve got and go ‘Oh yeah, I’ve played nine games for Liverpool’. That’s never been the end goal.

“I’ve always just wanted to be a winner. I’ve hated losing since I was young. I used to cry when I lost. When I lose, it still ruins my weekend and stuff like that.

“There is no point in setting goals that you think you could reach. You might as well just set a goal that maybe looks out of reach but you never know what you can get to.

“Surprised could be deemed an interesting word but I think he (Klopp) means I wasn’t expected to be there yet.

“I don’t think it was ‘It’s a surprise, I’ve trained with him before and he’s not a good player’. It was about how soon it’s come and how I’ve dealt with the adversity I have been thrown into.

 

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“It’s not expected from being on loan at Bristol Rovers to going straight into the first team, and to do as well as I did. That’s where the surprise came from.”

 

Quansah made his debut in Liverpool’s late 2-1 win at Newcastle in August, coming on as a substitute for the injured Joel Matip after Virgil Van Dijk was sent off.

He also had a goal disallowed in the Reds’ 3-2 Europa League defeat in Toulouse last week, while Harvey Elliott, Curtis Jones and Trent Alexander-Arnold have all offered words of wisdom.

He said: “They just say enjoy it. It sounds so simple and cliche but it is easy for young centre-halves to not play their game, play safe and not do what they do at other levels just because it is a step up.

“Them saying that relaxes you a bit, so when I get told to enjoy it I can be free and just play. I don’t have to worry about making mistakes because they’re going to happen.

“I can’t remember the last player who had a perfect career and never made a mistake, that is going to happen and that is the way you learn best so just enjoy myself and do the best I can.”

Now, Quansah is preparing to travel to Serbia on Friday for Saturday’s Euro 2025 qualifier in Backa Topola, before returning to face Northern Ireland at Goodison Park on Tuesday in Group F.

Lee Carsley’s side are second in the group following last month’s late 3-2 defeat to Ukraine, having smashed Serbia 9-1 at the City Ground.

The loss to Ukraine in Poland, after levelling at 2-2 having been 2-0 down, was just England’s third in qualifying since 2011 but Quansah is happy to learn the lessons.

He said: “We didn’t lock the game down as the way we should have and their goal was a sucker punch.

“Things are definitely going to be different (in Serbia), it’s always tough going away from home as we found out against Ukraine.”

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp admits he is more concerned with side’s defensive display than the role VAR played in denying his side a late Europa League draw in Toulouse.

Individual mistakes and a lack of collective cohesion saw the hosts take a 3-1 lead but Diogo Jota’s 89th-minute strike, after Cristian Casseres’ own goal had got them back into the game, set up a dramatic conclusion.

In the seventh and final minute of added time 20-year-old centre-back Jarell Quansah thought he had equalised but after a long delay referee Georgi Kabakov was advised to go to the pitchside monitor and he ruled Alexis Mac Allister had handled the ball, even though it had initially bounced up off his chest very early in the move for the goal.

“I only saw the video back now and for me it’s not a handball – but how can I decide that?” said Klopp.

“Actually, I am a bit more concerned about (the fact that) I would have loved us to have played better, to be honest. That’s my main issue tonight.

“In the end, we were intense, we threw everything in, but the problem is in a football game you have to make the decisive things in the right moment to do them right.”

Liverpool’s problem was a side registering nine changes from Sunday’s draw at Luton never found any rhythm or structure and opponents who were hammered 5-1 at Anfield a fortnight ago took full advantage.

They were not helped by Kostas Tsimikas’ error dawdling in possession costing them the important opening goal to Aron Donnum.

“We cannot concede the goals we conceded again,” added Klopp.

“The first goal can happen, but then it happened in the second half with similar situations: we were completely open, last line too deep, counter-attack.

“They scored five goals, two disallowed, and that is obviously then not good. Yes, the result is the opposite of good, but the performance was just not good enough.

“It was well deserved to lose because they won pretty much all the decisive battles. We had too many situations where we should have won the ball but we didn’t.

“On top of that we gave the ball away easily at least twice – one was a goal, the other I am not sure if it was an allowed goal or a disallowed goal.

“Defending-wise it was just not good enough.”

Defeat ends a three-match winning run and although Liverpool remain top of the group their advantage has been cut to two points.

They also missed out on guaranteeing top spot early and therefore also skipping the additional play-off round in the knockout phase after LASK’s victory over Union Saint-Gilloise meant victory would have given them an unassailable lead.

The consequences of that are if Toulouse win their next game against Union the race to top the group will go down to the final round, and with Liverpool’s trip to Belgium coming immediately before the Premier League visit of arch-rivals Manchester United Klopp would have been hoping that fixture was a dead rubber to allow him to rest players.

Liverpool captain Virgil van Dijk will miss the Europa League tie in Toulouse due to illness but his place could be filled by a youngster whose rapid rise this season initially took manager Jurgen Klopp by surprise.

When 20-year-old Jarell Quansah joined the squad for pre-season training there was not a lot of consideration given to him playing much of a role in the current campaign and there were even discussions about sending him out on loan.

Klopp decided against that and after making his debut in the 10-man win at Newcastle in August, the academy graduate has made seven appearances, including a Premier League start at Wolves and back-to-back appearances in Europe, and will be looking to add to that in Toulouse, whom Liverpool thrashed 5-1 last time out.

“Virgil is a little bit ill, it will not be a big thing but we didn’t want him on the plane and maybe others have it a little bit as well,” said Klopp.

“That’s why we left him at home. It should be all right for the weekend.”

Asked about Quansah’s prospects, the German added: “If you would have asked me pre-season (if) he would be that good I would have been surprised but since then I saw him every day and I am not surprised any more.

“It’s great to have a boy from our own academy with that potential and quality. We will see where he ends up but it is extremely promising. There was talk about him going on loan and we said ‘no’, that was obviously a very good decision.”

Klopp’s biggest selection problem appears to be in midfield as he has also had to leave Ryan Gravenberch and Curtis Jones behind.

“Ryan got a little niggle in the knee. He was running already today but there was no chance for this game,” he added.

“We hope there is a chance for Brentford and he will definitely be back after the international break.”

Jones missed Sunday’s draw at Luton with a “low-grade” hamstring problem which Klopp said would keep him out for a couple of weeks but with Thiago Alcantara and Stefan Bajcetic long-term absentees, it means midfield resources are being stretched.

Wataru Endo and Harvey Elliott look certain to start as Liverpool look to book qualification to the knockout stages with two matches to spare and Alexis Mac Allister could be favourite for the third spot as he is suspended for Sunday’s game against Brentford, although Dominik Szoboszlai, Cody Gakpo and 19-year-old James McConnell could also play there.

Sunday’s goalscorer Luis Diaz has also travelled as he awaits further news on the status of his father after his kidnapping in Colombia.

“Always positive signs but not real news. He decided (to rejoin the squad) last week because he cannot go to Colombia – that will not be the case in the moment – and when he is here training and around matches it is a safe place,” said Klopp.

 

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“He wants to be with us, he has travelled and is available.”

After their hammering at Anfield last time out, Toulouse coach Carles Martinez is looking for a degree of improvement.

“It’s true that 5-1 is a pretty heavy score. The result is severe but we have gained experience,” he said.

“We don’t keep this match in mind. We think about what we can improve. It is mainly the mental qualities that will be the most important.”

Virgil Van Dijk is excited by Liverpool’s blend of youth and experience and hopes it can propel them to success this season.

The Dutchman was named as the Reds’ new captain this summer following the departure of Jordan Henderson, who was among a number of long-serving players to leave Anfield.

This season has seen Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp blood young talents like 17-year-old winger Ben Doak and 20-year-old defender Jarell Quansah along with new signings Alexis Mac Allister, Dominik Szoboszlai and Ryan Gravenberch.

Van Dijk told the PA news agency: “I don’t see it as a challenge, things happen for a reason, players move on and new players come in, players get new roles and I think that’s a very exciting thing.

“Obviously the captain has changed, the vice-captain has changed, the leadership group has changed, the players have different responsibilities outside the pitch. I think everyone is enjoying their roles at the moment and the team spirit is very high.

“Everyone is realising that everyone has a role to play and, whether you start, if you’re on the bench or whether you come on, everyone is trying to make a difference. I think so far that’s really good and that’s the basis of success.

“I think the squad we have at the moment looks very exciting. We have the quality to make it difficult for every team in the world.”

Van Dijk enjoys helping guide the younger members of the squad, saying: “You feel a responsibility. I know exactly how I was when I came up the ranks when I was younger.

“It’s never easy and, as one of the older guys, one of the experienced guys, I want to help them where I can.

“Obviously you don’t need to hold their hands but you need to make sure they’re able to perform in the best way possible and I think so far everyone is really enjoying doing that and we have to just keep that level.”

The Reds certainly seem to have turned a corner after last season’s struggles, winning seven games in a row in all competitions prior to last weekend’s controversial loss to Tottenham.

Van Dijk admits it was initially tough to move on following Luis Diaz’s wrongly disallowed goal and red cards for Curtis Jones and Diogo Jota, but he said: “It’s part of life. Obviously it’s difficult but life gives you challenges so you have to deal with it.

“You definitely can take a lot of positive things out of that game. Obviously it’s quite difficult when you lose to see the positive things immediately and that was definitely a difficult period after the game but a couple of days later you realise and you analyse certain things.

“I was really proud to see how strong my team was as a unit. It’s something to build on and we will build on this and just keep going.”

Next up for Liverpool is an away trip on Sunday to Brighton, who will be looking for a response of their own after last weekend’s 6-1 hammering by Aston Villa.

“It’s not really about showing a reaction, it’s just trying to play the best game that you can do at that time,” said Van Dijk. “It’s the last game before the international break so we want to finish this part of the season well.

 

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“Obviously they had a difficult result the other day but I think they’re a very, very good team with a very good manager, a clear style of play and it’s always been difficult the games we’ve played against them over the last couple of years.

“It’s going to be tough but we have to be confident and try to do everything in our power to win the game. Obviously we have the quality to make it difficult for them and we have to show it.

“The main thing for us is to stay consistent. That’s the key to winning something. And obviously no injuries, and that’s what we try to avoid. I’m very happy with the start we had as a team.”

Van Dijk was speaking in his new role as an ambassador for McDonald’s Fun Football, the largest free grass-roots participation programme in the UK, which offers 250,000 children every year the opportunity to play for free.

“I’m so glad that I’m part of this whole campaign,” said the 32-year-old. “I just want to be an example for the kids. The last free football session I attended in the city centre of Liverpool I took my two eldest daughters with me and they had an amazing time.”

:: McDonald’s Fun Football offers girls and boys, aged 5-11, access to fun and inclusive coaching across the UK for free. Sign up now at mcdonalds.co.uk/football

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