Manchester City’s tactics a compliment to Liverpool, says Virgil van Dijk

Silva was criticised for his team selection against Southampton in midweek

Silva was criticised for his team selection against Southampton in midweek

The Liverpool defender admitted it was "not smart" to dive in on Leroy Sané during the stalemate on Sunday and he was hugely relieved when Riyad Mahrez blazed the 86th-minute penalty over the bar.

"I think the very fact that Jurgen signed two and tried to get three shows you they are a bit short there".

However, City have performed better in their eight games this season than they did in the equivalent fixtures in 2017-18, Gracenote's analysis suggests. In the end, however, the teams finished just as they started, playing to a 0-0 draw to split the points.

They are unbeaten in the top flight and, though they were knocked out of the Carabao Cup by Chelsea, also recorded an impressive 3-2 victory over Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League.

"To keep a clean sheet after a penalty in the last five minutes makes me a very happy man", the £75m centre-half said.

"At 85 minutes you get a bit worn out, and that moment goes by in a split second and I chose to dive in, which is not what I would normally do".

United have plenty of time to make up the ground they have lost on the leaders, but there is a reason they are already off the pace and, like the Gunners, I think their main aim now will just be to finish fourth.

Liverpool full-back Andrew Robertson dismissed suggestions the Premier League title race was already down to two teams.

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Van Dijk feels the title will not be decided by high-profile encounters like Sunday's - more so Liverpool's match with Huddersfield Town after the global break.

A vital point away to a direct rival in something of a hoodoo ground for Manchester City is nothing to sniff at, and means City have one point more from their corresponding fixtures against the big six than they did last season.

"We want to get as close as possible and do as well as we can but we know it is going to be hard".

"We have to start thinking about the players".

"It was so intense since the last global break", he said after the game.

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

'After the worldwide break there are three important games against Huddersfield, Red Star and Cardiff so we want to be ready for that'.

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