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“You can’t deny it’s in your mind” – Virgil van Dijk trying to ignore title talk

Virgil van Dijk insists Liverpool are paying no attention to Manchester City despite closing the gap on their Premier League title rivals.

A hard-fought 3-1 win at Crystal Palace on Sunday lifted the Reds to within nine points of Pep Guardiola’s side, who were held to a 1-1 draw away to Southampton on Saturday.

City have played a game more than Liverpool and the Merseyside outfit are set to visit the Etihad Stadium in April, leaving plenty to play for.

“You can’t deny it’s in your mind, but as we have said many times we take it game by game,” Van Dijk said when quizzed on the title.

“It sounds a bit boring, but it is like that. We are not looking at them because there is no point.

“There are so many games to play. We focus on ourselves. This was a very important one and hopefully we can build on it after the break.”

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 23, 2022: Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk scores the first goal during the FA Premier League match between Crystal Palace FC and Liverpool FC at Selhurst Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

A second victory in London in the space of a few days, following Thursday’s success over Arsenal in the Carabao Cup semi-finals, ensured Liverpool made it four wins out of five in the absence of key attacking duo Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.

Van Dijk stepped up from a goal-scoring point of view in the capital with the opener against Palace before Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain doubled their advantage in the 32nd minute.

Odsonne Edouard pulled one back for the Eagles at the start of the second half, but a late penalty dispatched by Fabinho wrapped up the points for Jurgen Klopp’s men, with the league now taking a two-and-a-half week break before it resumes on February 8.

Centre-back Van Dijk told Sky Sports: “It was tough. Down to us more or less. In the second half we didn’t win the right battles.

“We gave them a good feeling towards the end of the first half. In the end it was three points away from home. We knew it would be tough and it showed.”

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