The man who revitalized Liverpool’s defence since the start of 2018 insists that the club cannot lose their focus in their challenge for the Premier League title this season and therefore should not be concerned with Manchester City’s form.
Manchester City sit atop of the Premier League table on the eve of the international break and are currently two points clear of Liverpool who are in second place. The Reds tasted first place on the table for a mere number of hours after beating Fulham F.C. in a surprisingly tight match at Anfield on Sunday afternoon, but dropped to second after City stamped their authority in the Manchester derby and wiped the pitch with Manchester United at the Etihad, beating them 3 - 1.
Van Dijk echoed the majority of the Liverpool support base’s view of the Fulham match which was that the Reds were definitely not at their stellar best against a Cottagers side who are in 20th place on the PL table, saying, “It was tight, but that’s football. It was an important win before the international break and especially after the defeat we had in the Champions League. It was a scrappy game but we kept a clean sheet and won, so it’s a good feeling.”
Liverpool have made their best defensive start in the Premier League era and have conceded only five goals after 12 matches in the league this season. Van Dijk, who captained the side against Fulham said, “We can be very positive about that. It was very important, especially in the second half to keep it tight at the back and I’m glad we did.”
Virgil was also on free kick duty during the second half on Sunday and while he scored a stunner of a goal on his debut in Liverpool’s F.A. Cup match against Everton to give the Reds the win at Anfield in January this year, he has yet to score his first Premier League goal for the club. Regarding his free kick, he said, “All the free-kicks we took today were not good enough. If I look at myself I need a little bit of practice so I’ll keep trying and we’ll see how that goes.”
The Dutch captain is adamant that Liverpool needs to focus on their own title challenge and cannot lose sight of the games that lie ahead. He does believe that Liverpool are a team who have yet to peak and that the best is still to come from the Reds side and that Manchester City’s tough run will surely come too, saying:
For us the challenge is to win or try to win every game that is ahead of us. The season is very long. City are not going to win every game 5-0 and are going to have tough games like everyone else.
We need to look at what we have ahead of us and that is more important than looking at someone else. We are winning games so we are doing pretty well and have made a better start than last season. We have to keep building on it, improve things.
It’s a good sign that we are still improving but still doing well. City are the champions and the best team in the league but we will try everything to be as good as we can.
Here’s to the Reds being as mighty as ever and giving their all to be as good, if not better than they can be when the Premier League returns on Saturday, 24 November 2018. Liverpool will travel to Vicarage Road to take on seventh placed Watford who are above Manchester United on goal difference. Kickoff is at 3 PM GMT/10 AM EST.
It’s going to be a long two weeks... May our players doing international duty return to Anfield sans any niggles or injuries. That is all we ask. Well, that and that these two weeks fly by as quickly and painlessly as possible!