Joe Cole and Peter Crouch slam Liverpool star for 'giving up' vs Bournemouth

Virgil van Dijk has been slammed for ‘giving up’ after his wretched first-half display for Liverpool against Bournemouth.

The Reds came into Saturday’s fixture flying after last Sunday’s historic 7-0 win over arch-rivals at Manchester United but endured a disappointing first-half on the coast, trailing thanks to Philip Billing’s 28th minute opener.

Cherries winger Dango Ouattara was able to easily drive down the right flank, comfortably shrugging off van Dijk before bursting past the Dutchman and cutting the back for Billings to drill home.

Former Liverpool stars Peter Crouch and Steve McManaman were left unimpressed with Liverpool’s defending as a whole and van Dijk’s efforts in particular, with the former feeling the centre-half had made life ‘too easy’ for Bournemouth.

‘It was disappointing,’ Crouch told BT Sport.

‘Van Dijk seems to give up, Trent Alexander-Arnold switches off and it’s too, too easy for Bournemouth’

McManaman added: ‘All the bad habits have come back, they are really lethargic. This high line they keep doing, gambling to play offside… they have been terrible, really, really poor and they have to liven up.’

Philip Billing taps home the opener and it’s lift-off for Bournemouth 🚀

Van Dijk was wearing the captain’s armband on Saturday afternoon with regular skipper Jordan Henderson deemed only fit enough for the bench having struggled with illness.

The defender showed his frustration after Bournemouth’s opener with former Chelsea star Joe Cole, who also had a spell at Liverpool, also critical of the defender’s reaction having been at fault himself.  

‘It’s a simple ball over the top. He gets back in but now he needs to switch on, he should be in business’ Cole said.

‘When have we ever seen Virgil van Dijk just stroll past someone in that situation? He just switches off.

‘Look at that reaction, you don’t want that from your captain.’

Bllings’ goal was enough to give Bournemouth a huge win at the bottom of the table with Mohamed Salah missing a penalty.

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