Virgil van Dijk is confident Liverpool won’t be affected by their Champions League setback – and insisted they weren’t surprised by Atletico Madrid’s spoiling tactics.

The Reds’ senior team suffered their first defeat since September when they were beaten 1-0 in Spain in their round of 16 first leg on Tuesday.

Liverpool struggled to break through after falling behind to Saul Niguez’s fourth-minute opener.

However, Jurgen Klopp’s side have scored in each of their last 28 home games and Van Dijk believes there remains plenty to play for in the Anfield return on March 11.

“It’s going to be a difficult game first and foremost,” he said. “But we should be confident.

“We can’t let this defeat bring us down in any way at all. We’re never happy with losing.

“It’s been a while, as well, but we’ve got to keep going and we have to believe in ourselves like we always do.”

Atletico were helped by the officials seemingly being influenced by the raucous Wanda Metropolitano crowd and the spoiling tactics of Diego Simeone’s side.

But Van Dijk admits Liverpool gifted the Spaniards the momentum by conceding the early goal.

Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool reacts during defeat to Atletico Madrid
Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool reacts during defeat to Atletico Madrid

Of Atletico’s approach, the centre-back said: “We expect it to be like this. First of all with the goal we gave them something they can hold on to.

“The fans helped them, it’s a difficult atmosphere for the referee as well to be out there.

“I managed the game as good as possible and everyone is jumping around you. Everyone has to deal with them.

“We’re frustrated we lost but still have another 90 minutes.”

Van Dijk added: “They got help from the fans, their manager was fired up with the fans. We expected it.

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“But it started with the goal we conceded.

“We had to be patient, but they showed it over the last couple of years it’s very difficult to score goals here and to break them down. We tried it but unfortunately it didn’t happen.”