Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk has admitted he woke up thinking not of his side's five goals in Tuesday night's exhilarating Champions League semi-final win over Roma, but of the two the Reds conceded.
Jurgen Klopp's side decimated Roma for 80 minutes in the first leg tie at Anfield, but had the volume of their celebrations turned down a couple of notches by letting a five-goal lead slip to 5-2 in the final minutes, giving the visitors faint hope of a comeback in the second clash in Italy.
After an exquisite Mohamed Salah double, a strike from Sadio Mane and another brace from Roberto Firmino put Liverpool in a commanding position, Edin Dzeko took advantage of some lax defending to grab an unexpected goal with 10 minutes to go. Substitute Diego Perotti then doubled Roma's tally from the spot with a penalty.
It is those two 'frustrating' moments which preyed on Van Dijk's mind after the game, despite the Reds' unprecedented victory in such a big game. He is, however, confident of his team scoring at least once at the Stadio Olimpico on May 2.
“Those two goals were still in my mind [on Wednesday morning]," he told the Telegraph. "It’s still a good lead but it could have been a little bit better.
“I know we still need to be happy with a 5-2 lead to take to Rome. As a defender to concede the goals we conceded - it’s just like a bit frustrating. And after the game as well you think - it could have been 5-0, then we’ll see what’s going to happen over there, and they can try everything, but we know we’re going to score at least one goal, then they can’t do anything.”
In spite of the late frustration which kept his mind occupied the next day, the new Netherlands captain called the game was a 'fantastic evening' and insisted he would've taken the 5-2 scoreline if offered it before kick off.
He continued: "You can concede, because they are a top side as well, but to concede two in the last 10 minutes is just frustrating. You’re going to think about it, because it was such a great night, great game, and a great result to take with us to Rome. But to concede two like that is for everyone a little blow on a fantastic evening.
“It’s still a good result. If anyone had said before the game - would you take a 5-2 to take to Rome - most of the people, most of the players would have said: yeah, of course. But as a football player, as a defender, and as a team as well, you don’t want to concede in the way we conceded, with a pen that wasn’t really a pen. My opinion. That doesn’t really count. But yeah.”
Van Dijk has settled quickly into life at Anfield after his record-breaking £75m move in January. The former Southampton defender recently claimed he is enjoying the 'rollercoaster ride' at his new club after a difficult year in 2017.