Virgil van Dijk: Liverpool 'Unlucky' to Be Against Manchester City in Title Race

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 8, 2019

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MARCH 03: Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool during the Premier League match between Everton FC and Liverpool FC at Goodison Park on March 03, 2019 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Malcolm Couzens/Getty Images)
Malcolm Couzens/Getty Images

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk believes his side are "unlucky" to be competing for the Premier League title against such a strong Manchester City team.

The Reds are 10 points better off than they were at this stage last season, but they nevertheless find themselves one point behind City in the title race with nine matches remaining.

Van Dijk told BBC Sport (h/t AS) ahead of his side's game against Burnley at Anfield on Sunday:

"That's the unlucky bit for us—they've been fantastic throughout the whole season. We've been doing fantastic as well.

"I think it's something good for people that love football to see. We'll give everything we have, and they probably will, too.

"The Premier League would be something special, also this year because the race is so tight. I want to achieve everything that's possible in football and get everything out of myself and not have any regrets when I retire.

"My dream is to win trophies with Liverpool because Liverpool deserve trophies. We're close, we're still in the race and we're going to fight until the end."

Liverpool's frustration is understandable, as they've lost just once in the Premier League all season.

Not only has that not been enough to earn a comfortable lead in the title race by this stage; it has not even been enough to secure first place.

Football writer Sam McGuire echoed Van Dijk's sentiment:

Sam McGuire @SamMcGuire90

Ridiculous how we've managed a season like this yet we aren't running away with the title 😒 https://t.co/KuQ7sjzSfM

The Reds have stumbled on several occasions in recent weeks, drawing four of their last six league games.

By contrast, since City surprisingly slipped to three defeats in December, they've won nine of their last 10, scoring 25 goals in the process.

In December, Goal's Sam Lee suggested that even an unbeaten season for Liverpool might not be enough to beat Pep Guardiola's side to the title:

Sam Lee @Sammy_Goal

I still think City will win the league. And also have a feeling that even if Liverpool did go unbeaten, City could still win it anyway

Both teams have since suffered defeats, but they're each still on course to surpass 90 points—the tally Arsenal collected in their Invincibles campaign—this season.

Napoli fans can no doubt relate to Liverpool's situation. They amassed 91 points in Serie A last season but still finished second behind the relentless Juventus.

There's still a long way to go for the Reds yet, though, and if they can put their recent form behind them and get back to winning consistently, they've got a good chance of lifting the trophy.