Published: Tue, October 09, 2018
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Manchester City's tactics showed Pep Guardiola's respect for Liverpool - Virgil van Dijk

Manchester City's tactics showed Pep Guardiola's respect for Liverpool - Virgil van Dijk

Before the season started I thought United and Liverpool would both be close to City this time.

He said: "Obviously they were a bit cautious of the way we played and I think we have earned that respect but they still pressed and still tried to play their game".

The vice-captain has been an integral part of the team in the opening months of the season, largely being a key starter in the centre of the park.

Graeme Souness also doubts Chelsea, who have also won their first two Europa League games this year, will challenge for the title.

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"But for us it's another important point, especially going into the global break with a long break until the next game".

"You see teams like Arsenal with a new manager putting great results together so there is a long way to go and there will be a lot of teams competing but we hope we are one of them".

Six of those matches were against opponents ranked in the top 15 in the world.

But my worry with Chelsea is where their other goals will come from if Hazard stops scoring as regularly, because their main strikers Olivier Giroud and Alvaro Morata are not exactly prolific. After a tough trip away to Napoli in the Champions League where the front three just didn't click, Liverpool again looked quite tiresome in attack. Unlike last season, Klopp could not call on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to penetrate City with runs from midfield due to the former Arsenal player's long-term knee injury lay-off. Seems like Liverpool are going with a 4-3-3, whilst Naby Keita makes the bench after recovering from the back spasm he suffered against Napoli midweek.

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The final game before the break was against Manchester City and sees the Reds joint top of the Premier League, with Chelsea, City and Liverpool all tied on 20 points after 8 games. "I will support Riyad if the manager chooses him again", he said.

"[After] 85 minutes, you obviously get a bit worn out, and that moment goes by in a split second and I made a decision to dive in, which is not what I would normally do". They will have their moments, but I thought we defended them brilliant - apart from the penalty and one or two situations, where we needed Alisson with a really good save.

"If somebody would have told me after eight match-days we would have had 20 points, I would say with pretty much any fixture list I'd have said "yes".

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