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'Hopefully no injury' - Klopp explains Van Dijk's half-time substitution after Liverpool suffer shock Brentford defeat

4:17 PM EST 1/2/23
Virgil van Dijk Liverpool 2022-23
Jurgen Klopp confirmed Virgil van Dijk was substituted as a precaution at half-time of Liverpool's shock 3-1 defeat to Brentford.
  • Dutchman went off with Reds 2-0 down
  • Klopp says defender was happy to play on
  • Tsimikas and Elliott also replaced

WHAT HAPPENED? Van Dijk was one of three Liverpool players replaced at the break, with Liverpool already 2-0 down. The Dutchman made way, along with Kostas Tsimikas and Harvey Elliott, but the Reds were unable to fight their way to a result at the Gtech Community Stadium.

WHAT THEY SAID: Speaking afterwards, Klopp was asked about the changes, and whether Van Dijk had suffered an injury. He said: "Hopefully not. Virgil felt a little bit his muscle, but said he’s fine, and he’s a very good judge of these things, but I didn’t want to take any risk. The physios looked quite happy when I said I didn’t want to take a risk! It’s not an injury, he just felt the intensity. And the other two were tactical, we could bring in Naby [Keita], who played a very good game, and Robbo [Andy Robertson], whose first action after half-time was exactly what we needed, that speed in behind. That was why."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Liverpool's defeat brings to an end a run of four straight wins, and means they have now dropped more points this season than in the whole of the last campaign. If Manchester United beat Bournemouth at Old Trafford on Tuesday, the Reds will be six points off the Premier League's top four.

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WHAT NEXT FOR LIVERPOOL? The Reds are next in action on Saturday when they entertain Wolves at Anfield in the third round of the FA Cup.