Virgil van Dijk reveals Jurgen Klopp’s half-time message to inspire Liverpool’s Champions League recovery

    The Reds were 2-0 down on the night and level on aggregate after 45 minutes in Spain, with Boulaye Dia and Francis Coquelin getting the goals as Villarreal caused Liverpool huge problems.

    It was a hole they dug themselves out of though, with Fabinho, Luis Diaz and Sadio Mane getting the goals after the break to seal a third Champions League final in five seasons with a 3-2 win on the night and a 5-2 victory on aggregate.

    While it was a dramatic turnaround from Liverpool, it was not necessarily a particularly complicated team-talk from Klopp.

    “Play football, play the Liverpool way,” Van Dijk said of the half-time message.

    “Play the way we’ve been playing basically all season. Get on the ball, have a lot of movement in the box and behind the high line. But also, show how much we really want to go to the final. That’s how it starts.

    “Second-half we dominated and played so well.”

    He added: “In the first-half we didn’t play football. There wasn’t enough movement so we made the wrong decisions, and then you lose the ball in difficult situations. The early goal after three minutes put even more pressure on ourselves

    “If we dwell on the first-half when we’re going to Paris, I think we’re being harsh on ourselves. What we’ve done this season can’t be taken for granted.”

    The win keeps alive Liverpool’s hopes of an unprecedented quadruple. They have already gone further in their quest to do so than any other English team in history.

    Once again though, Van Dijk played down the focus on winning all four trophies and insisted it is not something that the Liverpool team are giving any thought to.

    “If you listen to all of us and the manager, then it’s pretty obvious that we don’t think about these things,” Van Dijk said.

    “It’s really like that. There’s no point. You can dream, but you have to be realistic. You saw tonight, we struggled in the first-half and we could have been knocked out.

    “That’s football, small margins make a difference. We play the final to hopefully win it, it will be a fantastic day out again with our fans. It’s something I’m really looking forward to.”

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