Former Liverpool captain Graeme Souness lashed out at defender Virgil van Dijk for his lacklustre show during the final minutes of the first half in the Chelsea clash on Sunday which lead to an equalizer. The high-octane clash between Liverpool and Chelsea ended in a 2-2 draw after the Blues managed to stage a comeback in the final minutes of the first half to battle back in the game. The draw hurt the chances of both teams in the title race as Manchester City are now enjoying a healthy 10-point lead at the first spot.
Chelsea’s number 10 Christian Pulisic scored an equalizer in the injury time of the first half as the Dutch defender failed to get the better of the American forward and he netted a goal from close range against Edouard Mendy.
Souness slammed Van Dijk and said that the Liverpool center back didn’t even sprint when Pulisic was running past the defensive line.
“Why has Van Dijk not come across there? He’s just running in a straight line back to his goal. Come over, come over, come over – he’s not even sprinting,” Souness said on the Sky Sports.
Former Liverpool player Jammie Carragher also lashed out at the Reds’ defensive tactics as he feels that the Jurgen Klopp’s team look to catch the opposition off-side.
“They’ve got an obsession, Liverpool’s centre-backs, you see this a lot where they always stay in line with each other. They never cover each other – there’s an obsession with playing offside. We noticed that right throughout the game, the space between the two centre-backs is too big,” Carragher said in the same discussion.
“Initially, his starting position, Van Dijk, because he’s not intense enough to get over, he doesn’t want to cover his other centre-back. He stays in the same line, and that’s why he’s too far to get across,” he added.
Meanwhile, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp was absent along with three key players due to positive coronavirus cases, but the Reds still raced into an early two-goal lead thanks to parting gifts from Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah before they head off to the Africa Cup of Nations.