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Virgil Van Dijk: ‘We Had to Be Brave Against United’

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Virgil van Dijk on Liverpool’s emphatic win over Manchester United at Anfield on Sunday 

Liverpool FC v Manchester United - Premier League Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Liverpool proved yesterday that they indeed are the Mighty Reds as they beat Manchester United for the first time in four Premier League seasons. The LFC Reds are now unbeaten in 17 PL fixtures and after yesterday’s 3 – 1 victory over the Red Devils, maintain their one-point lead over Manchester City and are top of the table.

The captain of the Dutch international side, Virgil van Dijk captained the Liverpool side yesterday with Jordan Henderson coming on as a substitute for Sadio Mané in the 84th minute.

‘It was special,’ van Dijk said after Liverpool triumphed over the long-term arch-rivals for the first time in eight Premier League fixtures. ‘It was a long time ago that we won against them at home. We wanted to make it right and we wanted to show everyone that we’re doing pretty well. We had to be brave. We knew what we were going to face. They obviously have a lot of quality, especially up front, but we did well – we didn’t give them any chance to have clear options. It was a deserved win.’

Sunday’s match between the two Red sides saw Liverpool record their biggest PL win over United since their 3 – 1 win in March 2011 which also took place at Anfield. After 24 minutes, Liverpool found themselves in the lead thanks to a lovely goal from Sadio Mané which was beautifully assisted by Man of the Match, Fabinho. Manchester United then followed this up with an equaliser which was scored by Jesse Lingard at 33 minutes. On that, Van Dijk said; ‘You can concede and it happened. The thing then was to bounce back and make sure we kept pushing, putting the pressure on them and being patient. That’s what we did and in the end, big Shaq came on and did the job for us. He is a fantastic player. He showed it since the first game against Manchester United in America [in pre-season]. He is something different and sometimes that’s a game-changer.”

Shaqiri certainly was the ultimate game changer. He arrived on the pitch as a substitute when he came on for Naby Keita in the 70th minute and wasted no time in firing the Reds back into the lead with his goal at 73 minutes, followed by the winning stunner of a goal eight minutes later at 80 minutes.

Next up, Liverpool take on Nuno Espírito Santo’s Wolverhampton Wanderers at the Molineux Stadium on Friday, 21 December 2018 for their match week 18 Premier League fixture. Looking ahead van Dijk told the club’s official website; ‘We are on a good way [but] we’ve still got nothing – we need to keep going and take the positive notes out of everything that happened, and the things that could have gone better as well, analyse them and make sure we’re ready for Wolves.”

There really isn’t anything quite like football in December, especially when your club is on top of the PL table… Bring on the Wolves!

Up the Mighty Reds!