Thought-about among the finest defenders on the earth, Virgil van Dijk underlined the standard of Liverpool’s ahead choices by admitting he wouldn’t get pleasure from dealing with his teammates as an opponent.
With the Reds’ second objective in Wednesday’s 2-0 win over Villarreal, Sadio Mane grew to become the third participant to internet 20 occasions for the membership this season, emulating Mohamed Salah – who teed up the strike for his fellow attacker – and Diogo Jota.
That achievement adopted on from Luis Diaz and Divock Origi combining to seal victory within the Merseyside derby final weekend, after one other Salah help, because the firepower at Jurgen Klopp’s disposal retains his aspect in competition for a quadruple.
“They’re so essential for us in the intervening time. I don’t wish to be dealing with any of our strikers, to be honest,” Van Dijk informed Liverpoolfc.com after the Champions League semifinal first-leg success.
“Diogo from the bench, Luis, Mo, Sadio, it’s unimaginable, Divock the final recreation. We’re in a great second, everyone seems to be pushing one another and we’ll attempt to preserve that going, and the quantity of labor they put in is unimaginable as effectively.”
Liverpool have been affected person and exact all through the opening leg of their last-four conflict with Spanish outfit Villarreal as they aim a 3rd journey to the European Cup closing in 5 seasons.
After a goalless first half dictated by the house aspect, two objectives in as many minutes unlocked the guests, with Jordan Henderson’s cross forcing an personal objective by Pervis Estupinan and Mane swiftly tucking in a end.
They are going to meet once more subsequent Tuesday at Estadio de la Ceramica, the place, insisted Van Dijk, the Reds will go on the entrance foot of their pursuit of a spot within the Might 28 showpiece.
“We aren’t going there to defend and defend the lead,” stated the Netherlands worldwide.
“We all know we’ve to be very mature there as effectively, we all know it’s going to be powerful, in all probability a bit hostile ambiance, nevertheless it’s one thing we must always get pleasure from as effectively.
“You don’t get to the ultimate the simple means, it’s by no means the case, particularly at this stage of the Champions League. You play in opposition to implausible groups. So, will probably be powerful there however we’ve to be assured, work onerous for the complete 95 minutes and hopefully we are able to get the job carried out.”
Van Dijk was partnered in central defence by Ibrahima Konate, who got here in to the beginning XI rather than Joel Matip in opposition to the Yellow Submarine.
It was Konate’s twenty third look since arriving from RB Leipzig final summer time as he continues to get pleasure from a formidable debut season with Liverpool.
“A implausible participant. To be that good already at such an age, it’s loopy, for my part,” stated Van Dijk.
“Clearly he nonetheless has masses to be taught and, for my part, as a centre-back I believe it comes with expertise, coping with conditions, coping with errors, coping with moments that you simply fail [in] possibly to verify it doesn’t occur anymore.
“However he’s already at such a excessive degree and such consistency as effectively. So, it’s nice to have one another and push one another each day. Joel clearly an unimaginable season as effectively, so let’s preserve that going.”