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Virgil van Dijk reveals his approach to stopping Erling Haaland after Liverpool beat Manchester City 1-0

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk has praised his side’s defensive effort’s in their 1-0 win over Manchester City, and revealed how ‘running, communication and wanting it more’ were key to stopping City’s explosive striker Erling Haaland.

Pep Guardiola’s side came into the game in ominous form after winning seven and drawing two of their first nine Premier League games.

The task for Liverpool was always going to be keeping Haaland under control after the 22-year-old hammered 15 goals in his first nine Premier League games, a task made harder by injuries to Joel Matip and Ibrahima Konate.

‘That’s what defenders have to do [defend for your lives],’ van Dijk told Sky Sports after Liverpool won thanks in part to a brilliant display from him and Joe Gomez at the back.

‘That’s what you have to do in every game, you drop off a slight percentage, they will punish you.’

Sunday’s game was just the second this year when Haaland has failed to score in the Premier League, as he was marshalled well and failed to put away the few chances he had.

 

When asked how Liverpool had stopped City, van Dijk said: It’s a lot of running, communication. Who wants it more. Today we showed it.

‘It takes a lot to get three points. I think it was always going to be very intense, that’s what’s been happening over the last years.

‘It started with the hard work we put on the pitch, that’s the minimum for this beautiful club. We showed that.

 

‘We won, that’s the most important thing. When certain moments happen in the game it [the atmosphere] puts fuel in the fire for us.

He continued: ‘The energy we had back was definitely needed to push us forward and keep the big advantage. They [the fans] played a big part in this and that’s what we need for the rest of the season, especially after our difficult start.’

Liverpool are still only eighth in the league and facing a mounting injury crisis, but their win over City could provide a springboard to get their season back on track.

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