Michael Owen points the finger at Virgil van Dijk after Liverpool FC loss

The Liverpool FC legend believes Virgil van Dijk produced his worst performance for the Reds so far on Tuesday night in Serbia

The Sport Review staff
By The Sport Review staff
Liverpool FC legend Jamie Carragher with Virgil van Dijk Photo: Jamie Carragher / Instagram

Michael Owen was critical of Virgil van Dijk for producing his “worst performance” in a Liverpool FC shirt in Tuesday night’s 2-0 loss at Red Star Belgrade.

The Netherlands international started alongside Joel Matip in the centre of Liverpool FC’s defence for their fourth Champions League fixture of the season.

Van Dijk has already had three different centre-half partners this season after Jurgen Klopp has used Joe Gomez, Dejan Lovren and Matip as his second central defender.

Gomez has appeared to be the most natural defensive colleague for Van Dijk given that Lovren and Matip have looked unsure in the heart of Klopp’s back four.

Red Star lost 4-0 to Liverpool FC at Anfield but the Serbian side were good value for their 2-0 win in the return fixture on Tuesday night.

Van Dijk missed three clear-cut chances in Liverpool FC’s 1-1 draw with Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium last weekend before glancing a header wide in Belgrade in mid-week.

The club record signing appears to be going through his first dip in form since his £75m move to Liverpool FC from Southampton in the January transfer window.

Former Liverpool FC striker Owen believes Van Dijk was guilty of producing a poor performance, like the rest of his team-mates, in the Champions League this week.

“I said Van Dijk was the best defender in the world at the moment [before the game],” Owen told BT Sport on Tuesday night. “That [his first-half display against Red Star Belgrade] was probably the worst I’ve ever seen him play.

“So it was bad from back to front, right the way through the team for Liverpool. Van Dijk’s made a couple of mistakes.

“It’s frustrating because for a large part, the first part, really Liverpool were in control. And then there was a few mistakes here for the goal.

“It’s a zonal system in many ways but then you’ve got a couple of blockers around the penalty spot. And then Pavkov gets in-between (Daniel) Sturridge and Van Dijk really.

“I think if anyone is to blame it’s Van Dijk. It goes over Sturridge’s head and he’s got to be able to see that and challenge for it.”

Van Dijk and his Liverpool FC colleagues will welcome promoted side Fulham to Anfield in their next Premier League game on Sunday.

The Reds will be hoping to make a statement with a strong performance against the Premier League’s basement club in their 12th top-flight fixture of the 2018-19 campaign.

Liverpool FC still have the second best defensive record in the Premier League this term after conceding four times in 11 games.

MORE: Latest Liverpool FC news and views

MORE: Football transfer rumours and gossip

MORE:

MORE: The latest football transfer news

MORE: Meet the Premier League's most stylish footballers

MORE: Do you know the top Muslim footballers in the Premier League?

MORE: Take a tour of Arsenal star Mesut Ozil’s £10m London house

MORE: Man United latest news

MORE: Arsenal latest news

MORE: Chelsea latest news

MORE: Liverpool latest news

ATP Finals 2018
The Sport Review
Mind the gap: Roger Federer, Alexander Zverev, and the challenge for the next generation
The Sport Review
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature
The Sport Review
Meet Arsenal star Mesut Ozil’s girlfriend Amine Gulse
The Sport Review
Take a tour of Arsenal star Mesut Ozil’s £10m London house with us
The Sport Review
Top 50 most stylish footballers in the world in 2017: Chelsea, Arsenal stars feature – Slideshow
The Sport Review
Meet Chelsea FC star Andreas Christensen’s girlfriend Katrine Friis
ATP Finals 2018
The Sport Review
Nitto ATP Finals 2018: Roger Federer faces uphill task after defeat by Kei Nishikori in London
The Sport Review
What Gary Lineker said on Twitter after Man City’s 3-1 win over Man United
ATP Finals 2018
The Sport Review
Nitto ATP Finals: Sascha Zverev takes big step in group of big men with Marin Cilic victory