Peter Crouch and Joe Cole have criticised Virgil van Dijk for his error in the build-up to Atletico Madrid’s second goal during Liverpool 3-2 win over the Spanish champions.
Van Dijk has been a mainstay for Jurgen Klopp’s side this season after missing the majority of last term due to a serious knee injury he sustained in the Merseyside derby against Everton in October 2020.
With the Netherlands international in their back four, the Reds have conceded just six goals in eight Premier League games so far this term – the fourth best record in the top flight.
But the 30-year-old was singled out for the part he played in Antoine Griezmann’s second goal of the night, when the France international latched onto an inviting Joao Felix pass before taking one touch to get into the box and calmly slotting the ball past Alisson Becker in the Liverpool goal.
Former Premier League stars Crouch and Cole both think that van Dijk could have done more to prevent Griezmann from getting the space to shoot.
‘Van Dijk’s body position defensively. It’s difficult to criticise van Dijk but if he faces up there the touch doesn’t deceive him from Griezmann, but he goes back to goal, turns fall circle there and that completely kills him, Crouch said on BT Sport.
‘He just got it wrong here, it’s difficult to criticise him as he’s been a Rolls Royce of a centre-half for years but there was a couple moments tonight where I think he was a little bit off it, I still think he’s the best centre-half in the league but he just had an off night,’ Cole added.
Despite van Dijk’s mistake, Liverpool were still able to come away with the three points thanks to two goals from Mohamed Salah either side of a stunning strike from midfielder Naby Keita.
Atletico thought they were given an opportunity to level the game late on after Diogo Jota was deemed to have barged substitute Jose Gimenez in the penalty box, only for referee Daniel Siebert to overturn his original decision following intervention from VAR.
The result means Liverpool continue their perfect start to the Champions League campaign and leaves the Reds at the top of the Champions League Group B table after three matches.
MORE : Peter Crouch and Joleon Lescott slam Diego Simeone for snubbing handshake with Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp
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