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Liverpool FC centre-half Van Dijk - “I enjoy every game that I play.”

Updated: Dec 14, 2021

Liverpool created several chances but it took until the 67th minute for Mohamed Salah to score a penalty that ruined Steven Gerrard's Aston Villa.

Liverpool centre-back Van Dijk (BBC Sport Screen Shot)
Liverpool centre-back Van Dijk (BBC Sport Screen Shot)

Centre-back Virgin Van Dijk believes Liverpool were deserved winners when they hosted Aston Villa at Anfield on Saturday, adding that he enjoys playing regularly. The Dutchman also spoke about how they had to be patience against Steven Gerrard’s Villans who fought really hard on the day. It was a losing return to Anfield for Gerrard as Liverpool continued their fight to keep up with Premier League leaders Manchester City with a hard-earned victory. Though, Villa didn’t make it easy for Jurgen Klopp’s team as they forced the Villa goalkeeper Emi Martinez to making a few fine saves until Tyrone Mings brought down Mohamed Salah in the 18-yard box in the 67th minute. The Egyptian forward stepped up to take the penalty in style to give the Reds the lead. Ex-Liverpool striker Danny Ings came off the bench and almost took advantage of the confusion between keeper Alisson and Joel Matip, but in the end Klopp's side sealed the win. The narrow victory means Liverpool sit in second place, one point behind champions Manchester City.

'We deserved the win'

Van Dijk told reporters as BBC Sport quoted: "I enjoy every game that I play. It was always going to be a tough game. We knew we'd have to be patient and fight for every ball. That's the least you have to do against this team. They created some moments of danger but not many big chances I feel right now. I think we deserved the win. “It's always a good feeling when it hits the back of the net. I think we should have done better even after getting the goal to keep the ball and play through them. We didn't do it too well. But it's 1-0 and a clean sheet so we can't be too hard on ourselves. On Villa's penalty shout, he said: "I remember the moment but I have no idea if it will be a penalty. There are so many cameras and they didn't give a penalty.” When asked for his thoughts on the title race, the Dutchman asserted: “I don't know. That's something we shouldn't talk about. We focus on the game ahead of us and Villa was a tough game. We got the three points and that's all that matters. The season is long. So many twists and turns to go. The three teams are going quite well at the moment but the season is long.” Former Liverpool captain, who played 710 games and scored 186 goals for the Reds, winning the Champions League, FA Cup, Uefa Cup and League Cup, was given a superb reception and Van Dijk said of the experience: “Yeah, deserved. He is Liverpool throughout. If you think about Liverpool, you think about Stevie G. He is a legend and always will be. He will always be welcomed here. It was emotional for him I don't think he can deny it. It was good to see him back.”

Jurgen Klopp’s Reds sit in second spot in the Premier League table (BBC Sport Screen Shot)
Jurgen Klopp’s Reds sit in second spot in the Premier League table (BBC Sport Screen Shot)

Klopp was pleased Liverpool increased the pressure on their visitors to a critical level as the second half wore on. Speaking to Sky Sports the German said: "For 75 minutes we were outstanding. Clearly the better side and played in all the areas we needed to play. We created moments. "But we go 1-0 up and... Argh. Then the game opens up, let me say it like this! We lost the rhythm. That's a problem in football so you have to hold it from the beginning. "I think for Tyrone Mings it was not easy to avoid the situation [for Liverpool's penalty] so that's it. The one with Andy Robertson I thought was a clear penalty at the time but I have not seen it back. I don't know if it was a clear penalty or not. "[Steven Gerrard] is obviously a good coach. It is really strange when you meet before the game. A lot of the coaching staff from your own club is strange. They do what they do and everything is okay."

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