EPL

Van Dijk driven by World Cup regret as Liverpool refuse to give up on title in 'crazy' season

By Sports Desk January 02, 2023

Virgil van Dijk has not given up on Liverpool's Premier League title hopes despite being 15 points behind Arsenal.

The Reds came from behind to beat Leicester City 2-1 at Anfield on Friday thanks to two Wout Faes own goals, making it four league wins on the bounce for Jurgen Klopp's men.

Van Dijk previously acknowledged Liverpool's performance against the Foxes had been underwhelming, but results are suddenly looking up for a side that had headed into November with just two wins – and three defeats – in seven top-flight games.

Liverpool are four points adrift of great rivals Manchester United in fourth, and yet Van Dijk is still not admitting defeat in the Premier League title race, even though Arsenal are starting to create a handsome lead over everyone.

For Van Dijk, this belief and motivation has partly come from his experience at the World Cup, where the Netherlands were eliminated by eventual winners Argentina in a feisty quarter-final.

He remains hopeful of international success being just around the corner, and this mentality is seemingly keeping his eyes on the prize with Liverpool as well.

"Things were disappointing in the end [for the Netherlands], that is also part of football," he told reporters.

"It was a tough couple of days but then it was about switching back towards the most important things in life; my wife and kids.

"It fuels me because I want to be successful with the Netherlands. I feel like we have a fantastic squad and new era with Ronald Koeman coming back and young players coming through, like Cody [Gakpo] for example. He can make big steps with his transfer [to Liverpool] and then become more important [for the Netherlands].

"Hopefully we can do something nice in the summer with the Nations League finals, that is something I really want to win, even though it is the end of the season when you are absolutely shattered.

"It has also motivated me here. We are quite some points behind Arsenal, but the season could be a very crazy one, a very strange one.

"But we have to be realistic and we're not thinking about the title at the moment. We have to focus on the game ahead of us, win games and then we'll see."

Liverpool are next in action away to Brentford on Monday.

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