Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has revealed that Virgil van Dijk ‘felt the intensity’ of the clash with Brentford as Liverpool fell to a disappointing defeat to the Bees in northwest London.
The Reds came into the game on the back of four straight wins, but had not looked convincing since the Premier League resumed after the World Cup and Brentford had the ball in the net four times in the first half, though the offside flag ruled two out.
Liverpool had an effort of their own ruled out for offside before Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain halved the deficit, but they never really threatened enough after that to earn a draw and in the dying minutes the game was put to bed by Bryan Mbeumo to hand Brentford an impressive three points, and leave them just two points behind Jurgen Klopp’s side.
Worse still, star defender Van Dijk was forced off through injury at half time, needing to be replaced by Joel Matip at the interval and sparking fears that he would be sidelined for some time.
However, Klopp eased those fears after the match, claiming that Van Dijk is ‘fine’ but that that the Reds boss ‘didn’t want to take any risk’ with the defender.
“Virgil felt a little bit the muscle”, he explained. “He [said he] is fine, and he’s a very good judge. But I didn’t want to take any risk – the physios looked quite happy when I said we don’t take risks. He just felt the intensity.”
Liverpool face a relegation-threatened Wolves on Saturday in an all-Premier League FA Cup 3rd round tie, which could give Van Dijk a rest ahead of their return to Premier League action against Brighton the following week.