Jamie Carragher Criticises 'Arrogant' Virgil van Dijk After Rare Error Against Leeds United

13 September 2020 04:00

Former Liverpool player Jamie Carragher deemed Virgil van Dijk's uncharacteristic error a consequence of arrogance during the defending champions' opening game win against Leeds United.

Liverpool and Leeds played out a seven-goal thriller on Saturday, the first day of the 2020/21 Premier League season. Jürgen Klopp's side were pegged back by their visitors on three separate occasions before Leeds conceded an 88th-minute penalty which Mohamed Salah coolly converted.

In a chaotic match between two sides keen on pressing their opponent high up the pitch, Van Dijk's slack play which preceded Leeds' second goal drew the ire of Carragher during his co-commentary duties for Sky Sports.

Liverpool's usually commanding centre-back, Van Dijk, had made it 2-1 ten minutes prior with a thumping header but failed to adequately clear an aimless ball over the top. Leeds' striker Patrick Bamford gratefully snaffled up the mis-control and - with goalkeeper Alisson off his line - knocked in his second ever Premier League goal to draw his side level.

Carragher reflected on the helter-skelter opening half-hour: "It's a brilliant game," as quoted by The Express. "I said hopefully after 17 minutes we'd get 90 minutes of this. This could be 7-7 at the end of the game. Alisson is not happy, he gets between the centre-backs there.

"Virgil van Dijk, that's just too arrogant. Just tries to flick it round the corner to Andy Robertson instead of dealing with it."

This was the second error leading directly to a goal Van Dijk had made in his last four Premier League appearances according to Opta. The towering Netherlands international only made one in his previous 154 outings in the top flight.

Carragher - who spent almost two decades in Liverpool's defence - suggested the cause for this out of character lapse may have been Leeds' status as a newly promoted side.

He added: "Maybe that comes with the fact it's Leeds, new team, maybe takes it a little bit too easy. But I'll tell you what, Patrick Bamford, he's had one chance through on goal, he's been given a gift by that man. Two chances, one goal, he'll take that if he continues like that this season."

Source: 90min