Virgil van Dijk captained Liverpool from kick-off against Southampton and says the Reds made their own problems…and fixed them, too.
The Reds were made to sweat at times on Friday night, but a third successive late win was attained nonetheless.
Having already scored beyond the 80th minute to secure victories over both Fulham and Spurs recently, the Reds notched twice in the same period to see off the Saints this time.
Mohamed Salah and Jordan Henderson scored the goals to seal the victory, but that all came after Naby Keita‘s first strike for the Reds had cancelled out Shane Long’s equaliser.
Van Dijk told LiverpoolFC.com that the Reds’ early struggles were as a result of their own approach, with Liverpool trying to send more midfielders forward than usual.
“I think the first half was difficult because we made it difficult.
“The gaps were too big and obviously they scored the first goal and it was going to be difficult because it gave them belief.
“In the second half I thought we showed why we are top of the league and challenging for the Premier League.
“The most important thing is to just keep on doing what we’ve been doing all season.
“We are always going to be dangerous with the players we have, with the way we play, and you saw it was always going to be difficult to defend against us for 90 minutes for them.
“There was [always] going to be some spaces, some opportunities, and you need the quality that we have as well to step up, and [it was] fantastic.”
While the comeback was always possible given the Reds’ threat in attack, it was great to see the midfielders contributing where they haven’t always done so this term.
Van Dijk lauded those involved in the goals—including Roberto Firmino, who was superb throughout and laid on the killer third for Henderson.
“I’m very pleased for all three of them as Hendo doesn’t score too many goals but it was a big goal.
“It was a great assist from Bobby for the goal and obviously Mo’s goal was very important. It was a first goal for Naby, who is working very hard every day in training so to get the start and score a goal was fantastic for him.”
With five league games left and a Champions League trophy to fight for, it’s imperative the Reds get more goals from midfield—hopefully this is the start of that.