Virgil van Dijk blames media for “negative” views on Mo Salah – and insists LFC don’t doubt him

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Virgil van Dijk has rallied against the underrating of Mohamed Salah by the media, insisting there are no doubts in the squad over Liverpool’s hat-trick hero against Leeds.

Salah edged closer to the 100-goal mark for the Reds with a treble on the way to a 4-3 victory over newly promoted Leeds on Saturday, including two from the spot.

That came four days after the Egyptian King was left out of the PFA Players’ Team of the Year, having also been omitted from the six-man shortlist for Player of the Year.

The 28-year-old was Liverpool’s top scorer again last season, but despite three goals in his fourth campaign with the club, he is still struggling to shake the perception of being a ‘one-season wonder’ among certain sections of the media.

Van Dijk was questioned on whether Salah proved a point with his hat-trick against Leeds in a post-match interview with beIN Sports, and the Dutchman delivered the perfect response.

“That’s the media, that’s you guys who doubt him,” he responded.

“Obviously, we appreciate it and him, and that’s the most important thing for him as well.

“We don’t see the negative part of what the media says.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 12, 2020: Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk makes a mistake which leads to Leeds United's second goal during the opening FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Leeds United FC at Anfield. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Van Dijk himself came in for criticism for his role in Patrick Bamford’s goal for Leeds, with the No. 4 producing a slack clearance to allow the striker to level the score at 2-2.

“It’s one of those, I think. It’s a situation that can happen,” he explained.

“I try to do my best and that’s what I did. Unfortunately, a goal came out of it, but I don’t worry about that.”

Overall, he described the game as “eventful,” which is something Liverpool expected due to the nature of Leeds’ play under Marcelo Bielsa.

“Nobody wants to concede goals, and it was an intense game for both sides, a lot of running, a lot of one-vs-one, counter-attack on counter-attack,” he continued.

“It was something that we expected, we trained on it, and we know this could happen.”

Ultimately, the Reds took away the three points, and with Van Dijk predicting Leeds to “trouble many teams” in the Premier League this season, he believes the victory was “massive.”

“They’re going to give a lot of trouble to many teams in the league, I think, with the way they play, the intensity,” he said.

“And it was good for us to get the three points, but we have plenty of things to work on.”

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