Liverpool’s hopes of completing an “invincibles” Premier League campaign came crashing down at Watford last Saturday – but Virgil van Dijk remained classy in defeat afterwards.
With 11 games remain ahead of their trip to Vicarage Road, the Reds were beginning to dream of becoming only the second Premier League team in history to go through an entire season unbeaten.
But the soon-to-be champions instead slumped to the most unexpected of defeats against the Hornets, who scored three times in the space of 18 crazy second-half minutes to earn a 3-0 victory.
Jurgen Klopp’s men must have been devastated after coming so close to writing history.
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Nevertheless, star defender Van Dijk remained gracious in defeat when walking past Watford manager Nigel Pearson as he made his way off the pitch.
Tunnel cam footage uploaded on the Hornets’ official YouTube channel captured the moment he reached the touchline and offered his hand to Pearson.
The Dutchman then tells him “well done” for masterminding a victory over his side.
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Liverpool suffered a second defeat in four days away at Chelsea on Tuesday night, with goals from Willian and Ross Barkley dumping them out of the FA Cup in the fifth round.
Klopp made seven changes to the side who were beaten at Watford, resting the likes of Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino at Stamford Bridge.
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And the German claims he shuffled his pack in west London because he knew the game would be “super intense”.
“The performance tonight was completely different to the performance against Watford,” he said. “Against Watford, it was really bad. Tonight, it was not bad.
“I liked the reaction. I liked the way we played. There was some good stuff.
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“It was a super intense game. We made seven changes because we knew it would be intense. But I'm not concerned about momentum. It's football.
“We never thought that it would be an easy season, that it would be an easy period, that it would be an easy game tonight. Nothing. It was always difficult, but we did very well. We were just not good enough in decisive moments, and that's what we have to accept.”
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