Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Graeme Souness criticised Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk for his ‘lazy’ defending after the Reds threw away a two-goal lead against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
Jurgen Klopp’s side raced into a two-goal lead in west London after goals from Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah but they were pegged back by the interval after Mateo Kovacic halved the deficit and Christian Pulisic equalised.
While the Reds could do little to stop Kovacic’s stunning long-range strike, Pulisic was allowed to race through and shoot on goal without little pressure.
Van Dijk looked to be closing down the American as he found his stride but the Dutchman then appeared to back off, leaving the situation to his centre-back partner Ibrahima Konate.
And Hasselbaink was quick to criticise the Dutchman for his decision, with the former Chelsea ace agreeing with Liverpool legend Souness that Van Dijk was ‘lazy’.
‘Why has Van Dijk not come across there?” Souness said on Sky Sports.
‘He’s just running in a straight line back to his goal. Come over, come over, come over – he’s not even sprinting.”
Hasselbaink then intervened to say: ‘It’s lazy, isn’t it?’
Liverpool once again tried to deploy a high defensive line, which has proven so successful in recent years.
But Jamie Carragher believes Van Dijk and Konate were too unfamiliar with one another to play that way.
‘They never cover each other – there’s an obsession with playing offside,’ Carragher said.
‘We noticed that right throughout the game, the space between the two centre-backs is too big.
‘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.’
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