Virgil van Dijk sets sights on Premier League title after halting Spurs in Champions League

Virgil van Dijk sets sights on Premier League title after halting Spurs in Champions League

In the 76th minute Son Heung-min turned and appeared to be surging past Van Dijk, but the Dutch defender tracked the Spurs forward, accelerated and poked the ball out for a corner before he could get his shot away. Then Alisson, who had already saved smartly from Son, dived to his left to push away a powerful, curling Christian Eriksen free-kick from just outside the penalty area that seemed set to beat him.

What kind of effect does that have not just on Liverpool but on the opposition? What did it mean for Spurs who, two minutes later, conceded the second goal to confirm the result?

Little wonder at the final whistle it was Van Dijk and, even more so, Alisson who were mobbed. “Everyone who is connected with Liverpool you want to make them proud and the manager definitely puts that in our heads even more,” Van Dijk said. “It’s something that … a togetherness there at the moment. I’ve never really experienced it like this. It’s very special. We deserve this season to win something and to be winning a Champions League is special.”

It is also born of adversity. Memories of last season’s final burn for Klopp, who, despite his denials, was also desperate not to suffer his seventh successive defeat in a final – his third in the Champions League – and had to draw on the frustration of achieving 97 points in the league and not winning it. He also spoke of feeling calm.

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