Ruud Gullit blasts Virgil van Dijk for failing to stop Atletico Madrid scoring in Liverpool loss

‘Van Dijk has a nightmare… a little bit clumsy’: Ruud Gullit blasts Liverpool defender for failing to stop Atletico Madrid scoring as Marcel Desailly insists they cannot rely on Anfield atmosphere to make it through

  • Liverpool suffered loss at Atletico Madrid in Champions League last-16 first leg
  • Saul Niguez struck after just four minutes from a corner to give hosts the lead
  • Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk was criticised for ‘clumsy’ display in Spain

Virgil van Dijk faced heavy criticism for his role in the goal that condemned Liverpool to a 1-0 Champions League last-16 first-leg defeat at Atletico Madrid.

With just three minutes played, the Dutchman skewed a clearance from a cross behind his own goal for a corner and was slow to react seconds later as Saul Niguez tapped in the decisive strike.

Compatriot Ruud Gullit, alongside Marcel Desailly as a pundit for beIn SPORTS, was scathing in his assessment of van Dijk’s culpability for the goal . 

Liverpool centre-back Virgil van Dijk conceded the corner from which Atletico Madrid scored

Ruud Gullit (L) and Marcel Desailly (R) both criticised the Dutchman’s defending for the goal

Gullit told beIN Sports: ‘Van Dijk has a nightmare today, I saw him doing things, especially the first ball how he gives away the corner, clumsy a little bit, not necessary to do that.

‘A little bit of luck, ball comes in front of his foot and 1-0.’

Spanish midfielder Saul Niguez was on hand to tap home after just four minutes for the lead

Spanish midfielder Saul Niguez was on hand to tap home after just four minutes for the lead

The pair of pundits were also wary about Liverpool’s chances of overturning the deficit in the return leg at Anfield. 

The Dutchman added: ‘They know at Anfield they score a lot of goals, they know that, but they are going to face another game like this and they need to be better, higher tempo, quicker play, anything.

Desailly added: ‘You cannot count on your stadium and your ability at home every time to make a difference. It is Champions League, they have made one mistake, they’ve paid straight away and they score.

‘Going forward you also open up to Atletico who will potentially have the opportunity to score.’