Since they returned from the final international break of the season, every Liverpool match has had the potential to make or break their year. A Champions League quarter-final. An FA Cup semi-final. Trying to keep pace in the Premier League.
One slip at the wrong time and it would be the end of the silverware chase in any of the three competitions star centre half Virgil van Dijk and the Reds remain in contention for after already having won the League Cup earlier this season.
“In the first six months of the season you don’t play the biggest opponents every three days,” Van Dijk noted of the current glut of potentially season-defining fixtures. “But it is something you should enjoy, something we should all enjoy.
“The game on Tuesday is going to be intense against our rivals, we need the fans as well to be here with us, just enjoy it and we will give it everything. That’s what we can promise until the end of the season and whatever happens we will see.”
Having pushed past Benfica, they will next face Villarreall in the Champions League semis—after Villarreal defeated Bayern Munich over two legs. In the FA Cup, after beating title rivals Manchester City they will now face Chelsea in the final.
And in the Premier League, they next face Manchester United. Then Everton. Then a resurgent Newcastle. Then Tottenham. Then Aston Villa. All while knowing they need to keep pace with City who currently have a one-point lead.
“Just enjoy it,” Van Dijk added. “It’s quite special what is going on. Hopefully we will all remember these times in 10 or 20 years time when we look back. Nobody did the quadruple, there is a reason for it—it is almost impossible to do.
“We are in a good moment, we got to the final now for a trophy that we haven’t won as a group. So we will see what it brings. We are focused now on recovery and getting ready for United because that’s going to be a tough game.”