Virgil van Dijk on Sokratis: The Liverpool defender intervened after Sokratis confronted Mohamed Salah during the game at Anfield.
Liverpool defeated Arsenal 5-1 in an incredible performance at Anfield on Saturday night.
Roberto Firmino bagged a hattrick while Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah were both on the scoresheet. The trio ran riot in Arsenal’s defence throughout the 90 minutes.
One of the major talking points of the game was the war of words between Liverpool’s captain Virgil van Dijk and Sokratis, who confronted Mohamed Salah after the halftime whistle.
van Dijk intervened to defend the Liverpool forward, and the conversation intensified as the players headed down to the tunnel. The Dutch defender has now revealed the reason behind the tussle.
Virgil van Dijk on Sokratis:
Liverpool’s captain stated that Sokratis accused Salah of diving inside the box, which led to referee awarding a penalty to Liverpool. Mohamed Salah scored the penalty, thus giving Liverpool a three-goal cushion at halftime.
“I saw that he went to Mo and was saying that he dived. He was attacking him a bit, but I wanted to say he didn’t dive,” said van Dijk.
Shithouse Sokratis having a go at Salah all the way into the tunnel. Captain Van Dijk comes in and helps out his mate, as does captain Hendo from the bench. I love this team.
— Empire of the Kop (@empireofthekop) December 29, 2018
Virgil van Dijk: “I saw that he (Sokratis) went to Mo and was saying that he dived. He was attacking him a bit, but I wanted to say he didn’t dive. I’m protecting my teammates and that’s normal.”
— RF9 🇧🇷 (@SambaRole) December 31, 2018
“Obviously everyone came around us and it looked like we were fighting or something but we weren’t.”
The Liverpool captain stated that he intervened because he wanted to protect Salah, and insisted that it was a normal reaction.
“I just wanted to talk to him. But that happens in football and we move on.
I’m protecting my team-mates and that’s normal, that’s how everyone should react and that’s what we all need to do, to back each other. That’s what I definitely do.”
Aubameyang came into the game as one of the most prolific strikers in the Premier League. Van Dijk and Lovren have kept him to 6 touches in the first half… four from kick-off.
— DaveOCKOP (@DaveOCKOP) December 29, 2018
Virgil Van Dijk is the last player Sokratis wanted to see there’: Arsenal defender in tense stand-off with Mohamed Salah at half-time… until the Liverpool captain stepped in pic.twitter.com/nvaCiXHvGB
— Lilian Chan (@bestgug) December 29, 2018
Liverpool are currently seven points ahead of Manchester City at the top of the table. Pep Guardiola’s side climbed back to second position in the league after they registered a victory over Southampton last night.
Tottenham, meanwhile, faced a stunning defeat against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday.
Liverpool return to action on January 3 as they take on Manchester City in a heavyweight clash at the Etihad Stadium.
A win would give them a massive 10-point lead over Guardiola’s side.