Sunday, November 29, 2020

Van Dijk blames Community Shield defeat on poor Liverpool finishing

SoccerNews in English Premier League 30 Aug 2020

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Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk blamed his side’s Community Shield penalty shootout defeat to Arsenal on their profligate finishing.

The Gunners won 5-4 on spot-kicks at Wembley on Saturday after a 1-1 draw with the Premier League champions.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s fine effort put Arsenal ahead but Takumi Minamino equalised in the second half with his first goal for the Reds.

Liverpool created the better openings, with Van Dijk seeing a goal disallowed for offside and James Milner spurning a good chance, but it was Rhian Brewster’s penalty miss that ultimately handed Arsenal the trophy.

“I think their main chance was the goal. It was a good finish but we should have done better there and shouldn’t have let him come onto his right foot, but obviously he finished it off,” Van Dijk told Liverpool’s website.

“During the whole game, we played well, dominated, pressed them well, and created many chances. Obviously in the end penalties is just a lottery and anything can happen.

“We are disappointed but we have to move on. Last year we lost on penalties as well and we won the league so we shouldn’t panic, but obviously we wanted to win.

“We had a massive chance with Millie [Milner], obviously my disallowed goal and a couple of dangerous moments, but if you look at the game as a whole I think we created many chances that we should have done better maybe.”

Van Dijk expects to see Minamino hit the ground running in 2020-21, the Japan international having taking some time to adjust to life in England since his move from Salzburg in January.

“I think Taki has been very good,” the centre-back said. “After lockdown, he has been the Taki that we all saw when we played against him at Salzburg.

“He is very, very energetic and he is a fantastic player. It’s good for him that he’s coming out of his shell and for us as well.”

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