Virgil van Dijk sends confident message to Liverpool FC fans ahead of Atletico return leg
Liverpool FC star Virgil van Dijk is confident that the Reds can still qualify for the Champions League quarter-finals
Virgil van Dijk is confident that Liverpool FC can still qualify for the Champions League quarter-finals despite their 1-0 loss to Atletico Madrid on Tuesday night.
The Reds slumped to a 1-0 defeat by Diego Simeone’s side in the first leg of their last-16 clash after Saul Niguez netted what ultimately proved to be a fourth-minute winner.
Niguez was quick to pounce on a loose ball from a corner before the Atletico midfielder guided an instinctive finish past Liverpool FC goalkeeper Alisson Becker.
Liverpool FC had nearly 73 per possession in the first leg at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium but Mohamed Salah was twice denied by brave Atletico defending.
The Reds will host Atletico in the return leg at Anfield on 11 March looking to overturn the deficit and beat Spanish opposition over two legs for the fifth successive time.
Van Dijk was still feeling optimistic about their chances of reaching the Champions League last eight despite a punishing evening in the Spanish capital.
“We knew it was going to be a proper battle tonight, especially here at their home ground with the fans behind them,” Van Dijk told BT Sport.
“Obviously it didn’t help that we conceded the goal from a corner, the first chance for them – not even a chance, a bit of luck. But it counts. It was tough.
“We had the ball most of the game but, unfortunately, we couldn’t create massive opportunities. But we still have another 90 minutes to set it straight and we should be full of confidence still.”
Van Dijk has helped Liverpool FC to reach successive Champions League finals since his move to Anfield in a club record £75m deal from Southampton in 2018.
Liverpool FC will return to Premier League action on Monday night with a home clash against West Ham.