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Arsene Wenger shocked by Virgil van Dijk performance in Barcelona’s victory over Liverpool

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Arsene Wenger pointed the finger at Virgil van Dijk for Barcelona’s opening goal against Liverpool in the Champions League semi-final.

Former Red Luis Suarez lost Van Dijk in the box and deflected Jordi Alba’s cross past Alisson to give Barca the lead at the Nou Camp on Wednesday.

A spirited Liverpool performance was stifled by two late Lionel Messi goals as the Argentine legend reached 600 goals for Barcelona.

Jurgen Klopp’s side now need a miracle to reach a successive Champions League final, trailing by three goals ahead of next week’s return leg at Anfield.

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Speaking at half-time, Wenger assessed the opening 45 minutes of the match and highlighted Van Dijk’s error which led to Barcelona’s opener.

The former Arsenal manager told beIN Sports: ‘It was a half of top-quality.

‘We saw a really high intensity from Liverpool. I feel they are unlucky to be 1-0 down because they are dangerous.

‘Physically they are stronger than Barcelona, especially pace-wise. Barcelona made two or three yellow cards because they could not even run with Liverpool’s players.

“van Dijk covers but he should go with Suarez to cover that goal!”

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‘But when they get into the final third Barca have that quality. One chance, one goal. ‘It is very interesting because Virgil van Dijk [usually] covers, but he should go with Suarez to cover that goal.

‘Especially from a centre-back with that quality… he lets him go. At the start his position is not bad, but he refuses to respond. ‘It’s a great goal because the cross is fantastic. For a goalscorer it is ideal. It is marvellous football.’

Liverpool wasted a number of promising opening at the Nou Camp, most notably when Mohamed Salah hit the bat after Roberto Firmino’s initial shot was cleared off the line.

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Following the defeat, Reds boss Klopp said: ‘Football is like this. It’s about scoring goals, and they scored three and we scored none.

‘Our performance was really good, the boys played a super game. But against Barcelona just a few opportunities can be enough [for them].

‘I was happy with the performance, not too happy with the result. That’s football. It was a hard result but we have to accept it.’

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