Virgil van Dijk admits Liverpool need a ‘miracle’ in the second leg


Virgil van Dijk admitted Liverpool have ‘an almost impossible task’ to turn around their 5-2 first leg deficit to Real Madrid in the Champions League last-16.

It had all started so well for Jurgen Klopp’s side on Tuesday night as they raced into a 2-0 lead through goals from Darwin Nunez and Mohamed Salah in the opening 15 minutes.

But Real Madrid hit back as Vinicius Junior scored twice to level the match, with the Brazilian’s second coming after an error from Liverpool goalkeeper Allison Becker.

Eder Militao put the reigning European champions ahead for the first time in the second half, before Benzema added to Liverpool’s woes with the French star scoring twice to give Real Madrid a three-goal advantage ahead of the second leg after completing a 5-2 win.

It was a hugely damaging night for the Reds in what was the heaviest home defeat in the club’s history and Van Dijk claimed they now need a miracle if they are to progress to the Champions League quarter-finals.

‘We are 5-2 down and have an almost impossible task to turn it around in Madrid,’ he told CBS Sports Golazo post-game.

‘But football is full of miracles and let’s hope we can pull off a miracle.’

The Dutchman also defended his side’s performance despite the heavy loss, but rued the many mistakes that were made in important areas at key teams.

He added: ‘We should have been more composed and calm in possession but, yeah, there was nothing wrong (with the performance) in my opinion.

‘We didn’t give many chances away but in the end with the quality they have, they punish you, properly.’

Meanwhile, Reds skipper Jordan Henderson insisted the result is hard to digest and also bemoaned his side’s defensive mistakes.

He told BT Sport: ‘It’s very difficult to sum it up straight after the game. We’re disappointed and frustrated with the result, but for large parts of the first half, definitely, I felt we performed well.

‘We were probably unlucky to go in at half-time level, but we made too many mistakes and when you do a team like Madrid punish you and they punished us every time tonight.

‘A lot of it is to do with their quality as well. They’ve got quality players everywhere, but I think we didn’t help ourselves for sure, especially the set piece.

‘We didn’t defend well enough and can do better, of course, and the game went away from us.

‘It’s difficult to come here and speak. Yes, they have a lot of quality and we knew that and when you’re not 100 per cent when defending they punish you, and we caused ourselves problems at times.’

Liverpool will attempt to turn around the three-goal deficit when the two sides meet in the second leg at the Bernabeu on March 15.


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