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Van Dijk sends message to Man City after Liverpool stay top of EPL table

  /  autty

Virgil van Dijk says Liverpool are enjoying their title challenge rather than feeling the pressure of being the hunted.

Despite reigning champions Manchester City winning 10 games in a row in all competitions with a game extra to play, the Reds remain two points clear at the top of the table thanks to Saturday’s win against Burnley.

And motivated by the desire to give departing manager Jurgen Klopp the most memorable of send offs in May, Van Dijk believes the mood in the Anfield dressing room is one of excitement more than fear.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

On Saturday Liverpool overcame their defeat away to fellow challengers Arsenal by putting relegation candidates Burnley to the sword. With several key players missing, and the flu making its way through the dressing room, the Reds’ professional response to the loss in north London was impressive.

Van Dijk added: “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.”

And after Trent Alexander-Arnold was substituted at the break with a knee injury, Van Dijk says the squad’s next-man-up mentality is standing them in good stead.

“It is not ideal but we have to adapt and that’s football,” he said. “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.

“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.”