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Van Dijk downbeat on title chances after Merseyside derby defeat

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Virgil van Dijk has said Liverpool have to ‘look in the mirror’ after the club’s damaging defeat 2-0 in the Merseyside Derby.

Liverpool lost a Merseyside Derby at Everton for the first time in 14 years on Wednesday evening, in a result that leaves the Reds’ title hopes in serious jeopardy.

Jarrad Branthwaite opened the scoring for a spirited Everton in the first half as the defender capitalised on an error from Ibrahima Konate to squeeze in a near-post finish.

Everton were a real threat all evening with dangerous deliveries into the box from set-pieces and got their reward for practice on the training ground, as Dominic Calvert-Lewin leapt to meet Dwight McNeil’s corner and head in a second on 58 minutes.

Liverpool looked lethargic and struggled to find avenues back into the game against a well-drilled Toffees team, with Van Dijk admitting the club’s title hopes are all but over after a second loss in three Premier League games.

“Listen, very disappointed in so many ways. Everyone has to look in the mirror and look at their own performance and think if they gave everything,” the Dutchman said to Sky Sports.

“Do they really want to win the league? If you play like this overall in the game and not win any challenges and give the referee an opportunity to give a free-kick away then we have no chance to win the title.

“It is a tough one and obviously we have to do better against a side near the relegation it is time to focus.

“Eventually we were not good enough and we all have to do much better. We have to do much better in every sense it is a tough one to take.

“We are in a situation as we have bene consistent all season and players who have come in and contributed – we have to do much better.

“These games are always a big fight and something that we shouldn’t have lost in my opinion.

“But. we did now we have to pick ourselves up and be ready for an early kick-off Saturday.”

On the title race, with Liverpool now three points behind Arsenal, he added: “If you play like today we have no chance to consider ourselves in the title race.”

Read – Dyche hails outstanding Calvert-Lewin as Everton celebrate derby win

See more – Five of the best – Merseyside Derby goals

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