Virgil van Dijk tells Liverpool teammates: Go all the way or go home
Virgil van Dijk says Liverpool can win the Double after they took charge of their European quarter-final against Porto, insisting any of his teammates who aren't confident of success can "just stay home."
Naby Keita and Roberto Firmino struck inside the first 26 minutes at Anfield yesterday morning (Singapore time) to give Juergen Klopp's men a 2-0 first-leg victory.
Liverpool also lead the English Premier League by two points from Manchester City - who have a game in hand - with five games of their season remaining.
Should they go all the way to the Champions League final in Madrid, they will have nine games left in their season, with success in both competitions a possibility.
"It's still something we need to believe and do," van Dijk was quoted as saying in the Mirror.
"You have to believe, otherwise you can just stay home next time. Go for it. We should be confident. It's a great time to be a Liverpool player.
"Hopefully, there are nine games left in total if all goes well, fingers crossed.
"Let's give everything we've got and have a well-deserved break after."
Unlike their last-16 clash just over a year ago, when Liverpool won the first leg in Portugal 5-0 to render the return fixture a formality, yesterday's victory still leaves some work to do.
Van Dijk knows they will have to put in an improved performance next Wednesday as their opponents have shown they can give them the occasional scare.
"Obviously, we know it's going to be a tough game and, to score two good goals, was very important. But the clean sheet was the most important thing," said the Dutch international.
"We have something to build on. We kept pressing, we kept going - we played very well."
Firmino popped up with the second goal for his 14th in the Champions League for Liverpool. Only Steven Gerrard (30) has more for the club in the competition.
The Brazil international has also cautioned against complacency next week.
"It was an important victory. We've taken the first step," he told the club's website.
"We played well and we scored goals. Now we have to keep our feet on the ground because the next game will be difficult as well. We have to give it our all at their stadium." - AFP
LIVERPOOL: Alisson, Lovren, Alexander-Arnold, Milner, van Dijk, Henderson, Keita, Fabinho, Salah, Mane (Origi 73), Firmino (Sturridge 82)
PORTO: Casillas, Maxi Pereira (Fernando 77), Felipe, Militao, Telles, Torres (Costa 73), Corona, Danilo Pereira, Marega, Soares (Brahimi 62), Otavio
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