By 90Min
August 15, 2019

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk has identified why his side struggled to contain Chelsea in the first half, and how they were ultimately able to overcome their problems in Wednesday night's Super Cup clash in Istanbul.

The Reds triumphed 5-4 on penalties after the game was tied 2-2 at the end of extra time, but their first-half performance left a lot to be desired, particularly on the defensive side.

BULENT KILIC/GettyImages

Speaking to the press after the game, as quoted by the Mirror, the Dutchman acknowledged these frailties, explaining: "It was a good game to watch for the neutral, but it was tough for both sides.

"They played well and we had moments of good football, especially at the beginning of the second half. We put them under pressure and created chances. We played a higher line and won the second balls.

"At the beginning, the gaps were too big. I said before the game that anything can happen in a final and in the end the penalties decided the game."

Clearly Van Dijk, who has just been announced as one of the three nominees for UEFA's Men's Player of the Year alongside mainstays Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, felt that his side had been too open during the initial stages. 

And, seemingly, the answer to this was staying more compact, while also increasing the pressure on the Chelsea backline by pushing higher up the field.

As for the victory, Van Dijk also made it clear who he had to thank, and suggested that he'd envisaged such a scenario before the game, declaring: "I told Adrian before penalties he could be the hero tonight and he did it so I'm happy for him and for the club."

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HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)