Virgil Van Djik has explained how he dealt with Erling Haaland during Liverpool’s 1-0 win over Manchester City on Sunday.

The Norwegian striker, 22, came into the match having scored a remarkable 20 goals in 13 games since arriving at Manchester City – including 15 in nine Premier League matches.

And with Liverpool having won just two of their opening eight league outings, there was a fear Haaland could punish them at Anfield.

But, while the ex-Borussia Dortmund man did have a couple of chances to hit the back of the net, he ultimately failed to do so for just the second time in the Prem.

Van Dijk was praised for his superb display at the back, with the Dutchman revealing afterwards what it took to overcome the formidable task that is Haaland.

“That’s what defenders have to do [defend for your lives]. That’s what you have to every game, you drop off a slight percentage – they will punish you.

“We did very well, important to get the clean sheet and move on so we’re focusing on West Ham.

“It is [blood and thunder] it’s a lot of running, communication. Who wants it more. Today we showed it. Takes a lot, good to get three points. I think it was always going to be very intense, that’s what’s been happening over the last years.”

“First-half, I thought we played quite well, didn’t give much away.

Speaking on Sky Sports, he said.

“I don’t think we created too much in the second-half, we defended more but had chances to score on the break.

“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.

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

“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.”

He contnued.

Mo Salah’s second half goal settled the match between the two sides in front of a raucous Anfield crowd.

Jurgen Klopp was sent off in the closing stages for screaming at the assistant referee, while earlier on Pep Guardiola lost his temper when Phil Foden’s goal was disallowed.

The result moves Liverpool up to eighth place in the table, six points off the top four.

Meanwhile, City, whose 20-match unbeaten league run was ended by the Reds on Sunday evening, fall four points behind pacesetters Arsenal.

Source: Sky Sports

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