'Enjoy the ride' says Van Dijk as three-way Premier League title race tightens

AFP , Sunday 10 Mar 2024

Liverpool captain Virgil van Dijk said a 1-1 draw against Manchester City, that left three sides separated by just one point at the top of the Premier League, was "bittersweet" for the depleted Reds.

Virgil van Dijk
liverpool s Virgil van Dijk passes the ball during the English Premier League soccer match between Liverpool and Manchester City, at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, England, Sunday, March 10, 2024. AP


In Jurgen Klopp's final Premier League showdown against Pep Guardiola, Liverpool trailed at half-time to John Stones' opener from Kevin De Bruyne's corner.

But the hosts roared back in the second period after Alexis Mac Allister levelled from the penalty spot.

Despite missing a number of key players to injury, Liverpool missed a host of chances to open up a four-point lead over City, who are aiming to become the first side to ever win four consecutive English top-flight titles.

A share of the spoils leaves Arsenal top on goal difference from Liverpool with City one point back in third.

"We had very good chances, unfortunately we couldn't get the winner but overall bittersweet," Van Dijk told Sky Sports.

"Based on the second half you feel we should have won it, but they hit the post as well. It was so close.

"Manchester City has been very successful with the titles they have won and every game we have played against each other have been very intense. Every game is so difficult, they have quality all over the pitch and that is why they won the treble last year. I respect that but the aim for us today was to win the game.

"To come away with a point is not a bad situation and we have to focus on what's next. We just have to enjoy the ride."

City's only victory at Anfield since 2003 remains a 4-1 win behind closed doors three years ago.

And Guardiola's men face another huge game in the title race in their next league match at home to Arsenal on March 31.

"We know what we are in for coming here," said Stones.

"We feel a bit deflated in the dressing room. We came here to win, but this is such a difficult place to come.

"I think the second half was more them than us and it kind of balanced out. We'll take the point."

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