Virgil van Dijk was delighted to welcome the good fortune of Toby Alderweireld’s last-gasp own goal as Liverpool moved back to the top of the Premier League.
Liverpool had been knocked off the summit by Manchester City on Saturday and were facing the possibility of remaining in second place having played a game more than the champions when Tottenham’s Lucas Moura cancelled out Roberto Firmino’s opener at Anfield.
But Jurgen Klopp’s men kept battling and Hugo Lloris spilled Mohamed Salah’s header at the feet of Alderweireld, with the Spurs defender unable to react and stop the ball from crossing line, sparking delirious celebrations on Merseyside.
Van Dijk again played a starring role for the hosts, ushering Moussa Sissoko onto his weaker foot for one huge late chance, but was ultimately just relieved to help seal a vital three points..
“We needed a bit of luck in the end,” the Dutchman told Sky Sports. “We played well in the first half, they played well for 30 minutes in the second half and made it a bit difficult.
“In the end, we got a bit of luck and won the game. We don’t need to forget they are a very good side. They have great players who like to have the ball.
“We forced them to play long balls in the first half, but they changed it up a bit in the second half and it was a bit difficult for us. In the end, we got the three points and that’s all that matters.”
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) March 31, 2019
Defensive colleague Andrew Robertson agreed with the Netherlands international’s assessment.
Robertson, who teed up Firmino’s header, said: “It’s massive. In the first half hour, we blew them away without getting the second goal we needed, then we got sloppy against a good team.
“They beat us second half but these lads go right to the end. We were a bit fortunate but we fought to the end and we’re back top of the league. Relief – that’s the word.
“Whether it’s us or City that win it, we’ll look back at crucial goals and crucial wins and this will be one of them.”
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