"But it is just a game".
"I am proud of them, but not just today", he said.
"When they face a strong side, you can see that the City players are not able to defend properly".
They were always going to lose at some point.
"You're seeing the money making a difference but in particular the men in charge are the ones who have these teams playing in a way that will bring European success or bring them very close".
"But City lost their unbeaten record at Anfield last season - and at the same time of year - and they responded by going on another long run of winning games".
He said: "The match proved to me that City can not defend".
But you have to get on with it.
Liverpool finished in second place and have a much trickier tie - against German champions Bayern Munich.
Nicolas OTAMENDI scores in Manchester City FA Cup win
I am meeting another one tomorrow", he said. "He played an incredible game, created a lot of chances and he has the vision to see what other people can not see".
"I thought it was a great challenge, was it not?"
What do Liverpool need to do next?
Van Dijk insists Liverpool are perfectly capable of bouncing back from defeat in a Premier League season which has been one huge upward curve and they remain calm about what the result means for their chances of ending a 29-year wait for the title. The title was his target at the start of the season, and nothing has changed.
There is no reason why Liverpool can not do that too. City are far too good a side to give up a title without a fight which will in all likelihood go down to the wire. The only way I ever dealt with losing was by getting back on the bus and thinking about what went wrong on the way home, and then starting again. For example, Liverpool are out [of the EFL Cup] and have more time to prepare the Premier League.
Kompany was probably fortunate to escape with only a yellow card for a studs-up lunge that caught Mohamed Salah but he said there was no intention to hurt the striker.
"Their team is not based on the highest quality when it comes to their players".
"I would like to have two months of holidays right now, definitely", he added. Between them, they held City together defensively.
Former Liverpool star Raheem Sterling set up Leroy Sane to secure a win for City as the champions celebrated in ecstasy as the title race hots up. Listen, this is a bitter one to take.
"That's what the top teams do and it's what we've got to do".
Mark Lawrenson was speaking to BBC Sport's Chris Bevan.