Following Manchester City’s shock (for some!) defeat away at Newcastle United on Tuesday, the excitement levels of the Liverpool F.C support base could barely be contained in the lead up to the Reds’ home fixture at Anfield against the Foxes, Leicester City this past Wednesday.
The 2016 Premier League Champions had already slayed Manchester City at the King Power Stadium on 26 December 2018 and thusly had many wondering whether or not they’d be able to do the same to the Reds, especially since Jamie Vardy has enjoyed scoring a total of seven goals against Liverpool thus far. Only Thierry Henry (8) and Andrew Cole (11) have scored more.
Going into Wednesday’s match, Liverpool topped the PL table with a four point gap between themselves and Manchester City and had hoped to take that tally up to seven points, which would have been an even lovelier cushion given the upcoming Champions League matches and the remaining fixtures in the Premier League. This of course was not to be despite an early goal in the opening three minutes by Sadio Mané, with Leicester City’s centre-back, Harry Maguire equalising just before half-time.
In spite of the Reds subsequently only managing to take one point from the match, Virgil van Dijk has chosen to remain reassuringly calm. “Disappointment is not the right word,” he said. “We started amazingly with the goal from Sadio and then it was a tough game against a good opponent. We don’t need to forget that as well, they are just a good team and we were unlucky that we didn’t win. We had our dangerous moments, and obviously we were looking for the second one. But they scored in the last couple of seconds of the first half, which was frustrating. We gave the free-kick away unnecessarily and then obviously stepped forward and it was not offside. It was a bit all over the place and something we have to look at.”
There had been severe weather warnings in Britian this week around the country which saw the snow causing flight delays and closed runways in Liverpool on Wednesday. The heavy snowfall also affected playing conditions at Anfield. According to Virgil, “The pitch was horrendous. It was full of ice but they need to deal with that as well. We had most of the ball and it was difficult to break them down.”
On whether something may have been missing in the team’s dynamic or style of play in the game, Virgil said: “What was missing? A bit of luck I think, a bit of extra edge maybe that we sometimes have a little bit more of. There are a lot of circumstances that played a part.”
It is evident from the media attempts to goad various players at Liverpool about the Manchester City rivalry that the Reds are focused only on their own performance and progression this season which is the best approach and as Virgil says: “There are so many games left, anything can happen...” Indeed!
VVD reiterated that the season still has some way to go as there are 14 fixtures still remaining in the Premier League and he believes that patience is key going forward. He wants the Liverpool collective to band together, remain calm and get behind the team and implored,
We want everyone to cheer us on and keep pushing even if we have tough moments, even if we’re 1-0 down or maybe more. We just need everyone to pull in the same direction and keep going, that’s the only way forward.
And, let’s face it, that is really all we can do as LFC supporters. We just have to keep on cheering, keep watching, keep supporting and above all, as Jürgen Klopp has asked us to do since day one, keep believing!