Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino praised Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk for stopping his side snatching the win in Sunday’s clash at Anfield. Having gone a goal down after Roberto Firmino’s header in the first half, Spurs were resurgent in the second period and equalised through Lucas Moura’s first-time strike.
The visitors could then have taken the lead, but Van Dijk – isolated against Moussa Sissoko and Heung-Min Son – did well to marshal the former into shooting wide. After the match, Pochettino stated that the Dutch centre-back did well to prevent his side from going in front.
“That shows why Liverpool paid more than £70m for Van Dijk, the legs are heavy and it is difficult to be clear to think and it is not [Sissoko’s] best quality, but I am so happy with his performance and commitment to the team.” the manager told Sky Sports.
Liverpool eventually went on to win the game, with Mo Salah’s stoppage-time header bouncing off goalkeeper Hugo Lloris and going into the net off the legs of Toby Alderweireld. Tottenham open their new stadium to the Premier League with a tie against Crystal Palace on Wednesday, while Liverpool make the trip to the south coast on Friday to play Southampton.
Liverpool’s talismanic defender Virgil van Dijk told his teammates to have no regrets as they try to deliver a first league title in 29 years to Merseyside.
Jurgen Klopp’s men hold a two-point lead over Manchester City at the top of the table, but have played a game more so still need the champions to slip up in their remaining eight matches. “The most important thing is to enjoy it. We have to give it our all and make sure we have no regrets at the end of it,” Van Dijk said. Van Dijk has been so instrumental in Liverpool’s improvement from the side that finished 25 points adrift of City last season, he is being tipped to win the Premier League player of the year awards.
The Dutchman cost a world record £75 million ($98 million) fee for a defender last January and helped Liverpool reach the Champions League final last season. “It’s definitely what I wanted,” added Van Dijk on the 15 months since his move from Southampton. “You hope to be in this kind of position – challenging for the Premier League title, being as far as we are in the Champions League now and reaching the final last season. “I think the ultimate thing would be winning something with Liverpool and we still have any chance to win it, so let’s just go for it.”