Virgil van Dijk has revealed that he believes the best way for Liverpool to defend their 3-0 aggregate lead in the second leg of their Champions League quarter final is to attack Manchester City just as they did in the first leg.
After what turned out to be an outstanding first leg for the Reds, they have given themselves a 3-0 advantage heading into the second on Tuesday night thanks to first half goals from Mohamed Salah, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Sadio Mane.
Having only lost two games in all competitions all season long prior to the game, Manchester City were outclassed from the first to the last minute by Liverpool’s formidable attacking force, and speaking with the Evening Standard van Dijk has revealed he believes to protect their 3-0 advantage, Liverpool must continue to attack City in the second leg just as they did in the first.
He said: “It is pretty clear that defending a 3-0 lead is going to be a bit of a strange situation. We need to come here with the mindset it is still 0-0 and we want to win the game.
“We know we are capable of scoring goals, we know as a team we can defend pretty well, but the main thing is we definitely need to keep the mindset of winning the game instead of defending a lead.”
Liverpool’s fast start to the first leg seemed to stun Pep Guardiola’s side who then had no response to going 3-0 down, and van Dijk added that his Liverpool side aren’t considering a fast start from their opponents on Tuesday night, and are instead focusing on their own gameplan. He added: “We need to stay calm.
“We are not going to think we are going to concede early. That is not the mindset we want going into the game. We are full of confidence but we know it is going to be a different game. They need to come and we need to be prepared for everything.
“As a team we feel like we are in a great moment at the moment, and we can make it difficult for any team in the world, but we need to show it. We need to be ready for a fight, ready for a good game – and we will be.”
Liverpool have the opportunity to qualify for the Champions League semi finals for the first time since the 2007-08 campaign should they hold onto their three goal advantage, whilst City have a very tall mountain to climb should they want to qualify for the semi finals for the second time in three seasons.