Virgil van Dijk has revealed how Jurgen Klopp helped inspire Liverpool to victory in their Champions League semi-final second leg against Villarrea.
The Reds came into the game 2-0 ahead from the first leg but saw the scoreline levelled in the first half of Tuesday’s game as goals from Boulaye Dia and Francis Coquelin gave the hosts a well-deserved lead.
Liverpool were atrocious in the first 45 but came out for the second like a team possessed, and they were good value for their three-goal haul that saw them run out 3-2 victors.
“Play football, play the Liverpool way,” Van Dijk said of Klopp‘s half-time message.
“Play the way we’ve been playing basically all season. Get on the ball, have a lot of movement in the box and behind the high line. But also, show how much we really want to go to the final. That’s how it starts.
“Second-half we dominated and played so well.”
He added: “In the first half we didn’t play football. There wasn’t enough movement so we made the wrong decisions, and then you lose the ball in difficult situations. The early goal after three minutes put even more pressure on ourselves
“If we dwell on the first half when we’re going to Paris, I think we’re being harsh on ourselves. What we’ve done this season can’t be taken for granted.”
The improved performance ensured Liverpool’s quadruple hopes remain alive, but Van Dijk was adamant that the Reds wouldn’t get caught up in the excitement.
“If you listen to all of us and the manager, then it’s pretty obvious that we don’t think about these things,” Van Dijk said.
“It’s really like that. There’s no point. You can dream, but you have to be realistic. You saw tonight, we struggled in the first-half and we could have been knocked out.
“That’s football, small margins make a difference. We play the final to hopefully win it, it will be a fantastic day out again with our fans. It’s something I’m really looking forward to.”
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