Liverpool ‘quality’ was key to comeback win - Van Dijk

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The Reds have earned something of a reputation for netting late winners in recent weeks and their latest meant they moved back to the top of the table

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk has saluted his team-mates ‘quality’ as they once again staged a late comeback to earn all three points on Friday night.

The Reds trailed Southampton 1-0 at St Mary’s before levelling 10 minutes ahead of half-time, and then grabbing two decisive goals in the latter stages on the south coast to win 3-1.

It is the third Premier League game on the bounce that Liverpool have produced a late revival to finish as winners.

An 81st-minute penalty against Fulham on March 17 meant they overcame the London club to win 2-1, while Toby Alderweireld’s injury-time own-goal at Anfield last week meant the hosts emerged victorious.

For Van Dijk, he believes these late rallies are no coincidence and thinks they are down to the talent in the Liverpool ranks.

“The most important thing is to just keep on doing what we’ve been doing all season,” the Dutch defender told the club’s official website.

“We are always going to be dangerous with the players we have, with the way we play, and you saw it was always going to be difficult to defend against us for 90 minutes for them.

“There were [always] going to be some spaces, some opportunities, and you need the quality that we have as well to step up, and [it was] fantastic.

“[We just have to] keep going. We showed, especially after 75 minutes, we are capable to do it. We have shown that in many games before but you could see it clearly.”

It was a great evening for Liverpool on Friday, and in particular for their goalscorers, all three of whom were in desperate need of a goal.

Naby Keita bagged the Merseysider’s opener - his first since joining the club last summer. Mohamed Salah then scored for the first time in seven Premier League games, before Jordan Henderson added an even later strike - his first in the league since September 2017.

“I’m very pleased for all three of them as Hendo doesn’t score too many goals but it was a big goal,” said Van Dijk.

“It was a great assist from Bobby [Firmino] for the goal and obviously Mo’s goal was very important. It was a first goal for Naby, who is working very hard every day in training so to get the start and score a goal was fantastic for him.”

While Van Dijk was ultimately happy with the scoreline, he admitted that Liverpool’s defending was slightly unpar at times on at St Mary’s.

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“I think the first half was difficult because we made it difficult,” he said.

“The gaps were too big and obviously they scored the first goal and it was going to be difficult because it gave them belief. 

“In the second half I thought we showed why we are top of the league and challenging for the Premier League.”