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Virgil van Dijk explains how Atalanta were able to dominate Liverpool at Anfield

Virgil van Dijk explains how Atalanta were able to dominate Liverpool at AnfieldDAZN

Liverpool suffered their worst loss of the season on Thursday when they fell 3-0 at home to Atalanta in the first leg of their Europa League quarterfinal tie.

The Italian side gave up possession to the hosts, holding the ball just 29 percent of the time, but were still able to get a brace from Gianluca Scamacca and a late goal from Mario Pašalić as they stunned the Reds at Anfield.

Speaking after the match, Liverpool captain Virgil van Dijk laid the blame on individual errors committed by his side, much of the time due to the pressure the visitors were applying.

Van Dijk told TNT Sports that Atalanta were opportunistic and decisive after forcing mistakes from the Premier League side.

"Obviously it's not great," Van Dijk said. "A very, very disappointing evening. Too many individual mistakes and we got punished for it. It feels bad.

"With the man-marking system they do, we have to do much better. When we have the ball we have to do better and be much stronger. The spaces were open and they punished us immediately.

"A very disappointing night for all of us but we can't dwell on it for too long. We need everyone to look forward to another big game. We have to switch back onto getting results.

"We were wide open. It's more that we conceded the goals because we lost the ball in difficult areas. It hurts. But it can't put us down. We have to react pretty quickly."

While the 32-year-old defender was unsurprisingly disappointed at the result, he stressed that his team cannot lose confidence with another leg still left to play.

"It hurts of course," he said. "We haven't lost here for a long time. But we shouldn't take the credit away from them. They punished us for being sloppy in possession. We still had chances to score one or two and unfortunately we didn't.

"If you don't believe, there's no point going to Italy. We have made it very hard for ourselves going there 3-0 down. But the way to bounce back is by winning the game on the weekend [against Crystal Palace in the league]. We need everyone to switch it back on. Then we can focus on putting out at least four goals over there."

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