Virgil van Dijk is adamant it makes no sense for Liverpool to fixate on chasing Manchester City
Virgil van Dijk is adamant there is no point in fixing Liverpool on chasing Manchester City despite narrowing the gap with Premier League leaders to nine points with a win over Crystal Palace
- Liverpool compensated Manchester City with a 3-1 win over Crystal Palace
- Pep Guardiola’s side lost points in a 1-1 draw with Southampton on Saturday
- Virgil van Dijk, however, insists that The Reds should continue to focus on themselves
- Liverpool have a game on their hands against the leaders and the two teams meet in April
Virgil van Dijk insists Liverpool are not paying attention to Manchester City despite closing the gap with their Premier League title rivals.
A hard-fought 3-1 win over Crystal Palace on Sunday brought the Reds down to nine points from Pep Guardiola’s side, who were held to a 1-1 draw against Southampton on Saturday.
City have played a game more than Liverpool and the Merseyside team will be visiting the Etihad Stadium in April, leaving plenty to play for.
Virgil van Dijk opened the scoring in Liverpool’s 3-1 away win over Crystal Palace on Sunday
“You can’t deny it’s in your head, but as we’ve said many times, we’re taking it game by game,” Van Dijk said when questioned about the title.
“It sounds a bit boring, but it is what it is. We don’t look at it because it makes no sense.
“There are so many games to play. We focus on ourselves. This was a very important one and hopefully we can build on it after the break.”
A second win in London in the space of a few days, following Thursday’s success over Arsenal in the Carabao Cup semi-finals, saw Liverpool take four out of five wins without attacking duo Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.
The Reds are nine points behind leaders Manchester City, with a game in hand
Van Dijk scored from a scoring point of view in the capital with the opener against Palace before Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain doubled their advantage in the 32nd minute.
Odsonne Edouard pulled one back for the Eagles at the start of the second half, but a late penalty from Fabinho took the points for Jurgen Klopp’s men, as the league now has a two and a half week break before it is cancelled. resumed on February 8
Central defender Van Dijk told Sky Sports: ‘It was tough. To us more or less. We didn’t win the right fights in the second half.
“We gave them a good feeling towards the end of the first half. In the end it was three points away from home. We knew it was going to be tough and it showed.’
Pep Guardiola’s side lost points in a 1-1 draw at Southampton on Saturday
Palace was unable to cope with Liverpool’s relentless pressing during the opening half hour, but switched after Oxlade-Chamberlain’s goal.
Jean-Philippe Mateta, who selflessly tapped Edouard, credited manager Patrick Vieira’s tactical adjustment to the Eagles’ resurgence in fortune.
“The first half, in the first 30 minutes, I was alone,” he said.
“After we put Edouard behind me and because of that the second half was much better.
“I wanted to score, but the best solution for me is to give it to Edouard and let him finish it.”
Jean-Philippe Mateta praised Crystal Palace boss Patrick Vieira for a tactical tweak
Mateta only made his fifth start of the season, but three have come in in the past month, in which he has also netted twice.
The Frenchman was expected to leave Selhurst Park in January, but looks set to continue his loan from Mainz for the remainder of the campaign.
He told the club’s website: “I didn’t play before and now I play and improve every day in training, on the pitch at the weekend and that’s good for me.”