Virgil van Dijk believes it’s still possible for Liverpool to win the Premier League title this season but admits that it’s Manchester City’s hands after a 2-2 draw with Chelsea was played out at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
Frustration and tension have set in among Liverpool fans as it’s clear the Reds are in a position where it looks virtually impossible for them to salvage a shot at this season’s Premier League title.
There are still 18 games to be played but the way Manchester City are playing, it doesn’t seem as though they are going to be dropping many points any time soon while it seems as though Jurgen Klopp is going to struggle to stop the rot with injuries, COVID-19 and fatigue wreaking havoc on his squad.
The 30-year-old has tempted fate by suggesting that the Liverpool players know what it’s like to have a big lead at the top of the table only to capitulate and lose the title race.
Van Dijk: Man City are in the driving seat but Liverpool have a chance
The Dutchman was poor and partially at fault for the equaliser and so he will be feeling disappointed after the Reds dropped three points from a winning position after the away side took a two-goal lead.
“It’s never difficult to believe,” van Dijk said, after the full-time whistle blew.
“It’s a big gap. They’ve (City) got the title to lose at the moment, but anything can happen still.
“Unfortunately, we’ve been there and we had a gap out in front, and we gave it away.
“Anything is possible. We will focus on ourselves, Chelsea will focus on themselves. We just have to get results. Get results, play good football, win games.
“Sounds pretty easy but as you saw, it’s tough.”
Van Dijk was criticised for ‘lazy’ defending after not covering Konate
The Dutchman has been the best defender in the world since he moved to Liverpool and part of what makes him so good is his defensive awareness and positioning but that hasn’t been on show against Chelsea.
Against Leicester City, he was slammed for soft defending after he failed to put his body on the line, allowing Ademola Lookman to fire the Foxes into an unexpected lead which saw them win the game 1-0.
Following that, van Dijk was caught sleeping against Chelsea as Christian Pulisic made a darting run behind Liverpool’s Ibrahima Konate, who the Reds signed in the summer for £36million.
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink questioned van Dijk’s defending, asking his Sky Sports colleagues: “It’s lazy, isn’t it?”
I agree that the former Southampton star has to do better but it’s another instance of Jordan Henderson not tracking a run from midfield and it’s unacceptable. It’s not like it’s a once-off mistake – he did the same thing for Lookman’s goal.
Man City top the Premier League table on 53 points, Chelsea remain second on 43 while Liverpool wasted an opportunity to leapfrog the Blues and are now on 42.
Significantly, City and Chelsea face-off on the 15th of January at the Etihad in a game that will either further bury the title race or blow it wide open.