Virgil van Dijk details Jurgen Klopp's half-time message that inspired Liverpool comeback


Virgil van Dijk has shed light on Jurgen Klopp’s half-time dressing-room team talk that inspired Liverpool’s stunning Champions League semi-final comeback against Villarreal to book their place in Paris. The Reds, who were 2-0 down at the break, were staring an embarrassing exit in the face at the interval after Villarreal blew them away to pull the tie level courtesy of goals from Boulaye Dia and Francis Coquelin.

But the Premier League title challengers regrouped before showing exactly why they are still on course for a historic quadruple with just seven matches to play.

Goals from Fabinho, the brilliant Luis Diaz and Sadio Mane saw them flip the game on its head as Liverpool now await to discover their final opponents on Wednesday night when Manchester City travel to Real Madrid (4-3 on aggregate).

Van Dijk has revealed Klopp’s message to his players was clear, get back to playing football the Liverpool way…

The Dutchman told BT Sport: “[He said] Play football, play the Liverpool way, basically how we’ve been playing all season.

READ MORE: Liverpool ratings: Luis Diaz gets 9 as Villarreal win seals Champions League final spot

“Get on the ball, have a lot of movements on the ball but also behind the last line, they play a high line.

“So with the speed we have, we have to mix that up as well.

“But also you have to show how much you want to go to the final.

“That’s how it started and second half we dominated and played so well.”

It was half-time substitute Diaz that proved to be the difference as he helped Liverpool put the game to Villarreal.

His dribbling ability helped unlock the door before the Colombian got on the scoresheet with a towering header at the back post.

Van Dijk was more than complimentary of Liverpool’s January signing when quizzed on his impact by Rio Ferdinand…

“He’s incredible,” he added. “The way he goes one-against-one, it doesn’t matter who he is facing.

“He just goes at you, without any fear, if he loses the ball he gets it back as soon as possible and goes again and again. That’s very difficult to defend.

“We have this momentum at the moment in the team, it’s great and now we go to Paris.”

Liverpool now turn attention back to the Premier League, when Tottenham visit Anfield on Saturday evening (7:45pm).

Yet Van Dijk insists Liverpool will still find the time to enjoy the moment: “You have to! We played a tough game at Newcastle where the fans were also behind them from the beginning, but we played much better than we did here first half.

“We silenced the crowd at times, but here it’s a totally different scenario because they basically had nothing to lose, the biggest game in their history of the club so of course, they’ll go the extra yard.

“We should enjoy the moment, today, tonight. Then we focus on Spurs at the weekend.”



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