News'Enjoy the moment' - Virgil van Dijk on Premier League race and squad impact
Virgil van Dijk says Liverpool should ‘enjoy the moment’ as they aim to stay in pole position in the Premier League.
A 3-1 win over Burnley at Anfield on Saturday maintained a two-point advantage for the Reds at the division’s summit, ahead of Manchester City – who have played one game fewer – and Arsenal.
Jürgen Klopp’s men had to battle to see off the Clarets, but ultimately goals from Diogo Jota, Luis Diaz and Darwin Nunez ensured a first-time response to the defeat at the Gunners previously.
Van Dijk said post-match: “I think everyone would love to be in this situation that you are on the top and fighting for the pinnacle, which is winning the Premier League in this case.
“We are in a situation that I think last year around this time, you would never, well maybe not never as you never know, but you wouldn’t have believed where we are today.
“Let’s just enjoy the moment and we have to perform as players, but together everyone has to play their part.
“We obviously came on the back of a very disappointing day in London. We wanted to show a reaction for ourselves. The start [against Burnley] wasn’t great, we can’t deny that, but I think how we turned the second half around and stayed calm was good.
“We can only influence what we are doing. That’s the only thing. We wanted to win, no matter what, find a way to win, we did that and now we have a couple of days off, hopefully everyone can get fresh again and no flu and injuries and everything like that.”
Liverpool were missing a number of players due to injury and illness for the weekend’s fixture – and then lost Trent Alexander-Arnold to a knee complaint at half-time.
The reshuffle at the start of the second half saw Curtis Jones switch to right-back and Harvey Elliott enter the action, with the latter setting up the crucial goals for Diaz and Nunez in front of the Kop.
“It is not ideal but we have to adapt and that’s football, said Van Dijk. “Whoever is going to be on that pitch has to perform, that is what we all expect as well.
“We are in the middle of a very intense period with games on the very highest level and pressure. Everyone has to be ready to perform.
“Very, very impressed [with Elliott] and Curtis when he went to right-back. It’s very important for these guys that when they have their moments, Harvey in this case, they grab them with both hands. We need them.
“Even if you start on the bench, you have to be ready to make an impact. This was a great example of that again. This season there has been a lot of players who have come from the bench and made a difference. That’s what we need.”