Van Dijk slams Man Utd's caution after Liverpool draw

AFP , Sunday 17 Dec 2023

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk slammed Manchester United's defensive approach as he claimed there was "only one team trying to win" Sunday's 0-0 draw at Anfield.

Virgil van Dijk
Manchester United s Luke Shaw, bottom left, lies on the pitch as Liverpool s Virgil van Dijk, left, Cody Gakpo, right, and Curtis Jones react during the English Premier League soccer match between Liverpool and Manchester United at the Anfield stadium in Liverpool, England, Sunday, Dec.17, 2023. Photo: AP


Van Dijk was frustrated that struggling United opted for a cautious game plan that left little room for Liverpool to exploit.

Liverpool's failure to break down United's massed defence cost them top spot in the Premier League as Arsenal took pole position following their win over Brighton.

Taking a swipe at United's negative performance, which allowed Liverpool to have 34 shots but only eight on target, Van Dijk said: "If you see how we played the game, we had most of the ball and created some opportunities. There was only one team trying to win the game.

"We want to win every game of course and that is why it is frustrating. Sometimes we shot too easy and could have passed on the overlap. The right decision was sometimes lacking."

Van Dijk, who had a first-half header saved by Andre Onana, conceded he could understand why United were content to subdue Liverpool after such a difficult season, in contrast to the Reds' fine form.

Urging Liverpool to learn from their failure to kill off United, Van Dijk said: "We carry on of course but it is frustrating because we were superior in all aspects.

"In the end they are buzzing with a point, and we are disappointed with a point.

"Obviously they are not in the best phase. Coming here you are wary of the threat we have. We should have won it today. We have to learn from certain situations, and I know we will."

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