Belfast Telegraph

Van Dijk dismisses talk of title despite Reds leading the way

Liverpool remain unbeaten in their 18 Premier League games this season.

Liverpool’s Virgil Van Dijk does not have his focus on winning the Premier League title (Nick Potts/PA)
Liverpool’s Virgil Van Dijk does not have his focus on winning the Premier League title (Nick Potts/PA)

Virgil Van Dijk refused to get carried away despite Liverpool leading the way in the title race.

The defender scored in Friday’s 2-0 win at Wolves to maintain the Reds’ unbeaten Premier League season and ensure they will be top at Christmas.

Mo Salah netted his 14th goal of the season in the first half before teeing up Van Dijk’s game-clinching second.

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Virgil Van Dijk scored in the 2-0 win over Wolves but knows the leaders are a long way off winning the title (Nick Potts/PA)

In eight of the last nine campaigns the team top at Christmas have won the league – except Liverpool in 2013 – but Van Dijk remained calm ahead of a mammoth clash with title rivals Manchester City on January 3.

He said: “There’s a long way to go yet. It’s a position that everyone wants to be in and we are in it at the moment. That’s the only thing it is and we need to keep going.

“The next game is Newcastle United on Wednesday and then Arsenal and Manchester City, so it can change but we are not going to think about that. We take it game by game.”

The defender netted his first Liverpool goal since his £75million move from Southampton in January.

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Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah scored one goal and made the other in the win over Wolves (Peter Byrne/PA)

He poked in Salah’s cross midway through the second half as the Reds also kept their 11th league clean sheet of the season.

They have conceded just five goals in the top flight this term.

“I’m more happy that I’m keeping clean sheets with my team and winning games,” Van Dijk told Liverpoolfc.com.

“Obviously scoring a goal is a bonus and obviously a very proud moment and hopefully there’s more to come, but I’m more focused on winning games.

“We are very happy and at the end I am happy with the win. In the first half we were a bit sloppy at times, but second half we did it well and we are very happy that we won.

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Nuno Espirito Santo was pleased with his team’s performance despite the defeat to Liverpool (Aaron Chown/PA)

“It’s a very tough place to come with these circumstances and how they play. They have shown throughout the season they are very good and disciplined and they have a clear idea.

“We knew before and it’s how we reacted to it and in the second half we dominated and created good chances.”

Wolves missed the chance to go sixth as their three-game winning run ended but boss Nuno Espirito Santo is content with their displays.

He said: “I’m happy because of the way we work and the way we pass through all the moments football gives you – good moments, bad moments, moments when you may not have played so good so you have to find solutions.

“We’ve found them, and I think we’ve played well. We are consistent, but the table doesn’t mean anything.”

PA

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