LONDON (Reuters) - Liverpool must play their natural attacking game and not think defensively despite holding a 3-0 lead going into Tuesday’s Champions League quarter-final second leg away to Manchester City on Tuesday, centre back Virgil van Dijk says.
Premier League leaders City were blown away by three goals in the opening 31 minutes at Anfield and suffered a further psychological blow on Saturday when losing 3-2 at home to their neighbours Manchester United after holding a 2-0 lead.
Van Dijk was speaking after an unusually bloodless Merseyside derby away to Everton earlier in the day finished 0-0.
An identical result in Manchester would comfortably qualify his team for the semi-final but he was a little disappointed with the performance at Goodison Park and is hoping for a positive approach on Tuesday.
“We are going to discuss it over the next couple of days but I think we need to do our own thing,” he told the Liverpool website (www.liverpoolfc.com).
“We don’t need to go there and think we need to defend, we just need to play our game as we did in the first half against them.
“It’s going to be a very hard game but I’m looking forward to it.”
He felt Liverpool suffered a little on Saturday from their exertions in the City game.
“Three days after the Champions League game it’s tough,” he added.
“We were sloppy, obviously we had our moments but it was hard. I’m only happy with the clean sheet.
“In the first half we had our moments but in the second half it wasn’t good enough so we need to learn from it and be ready for Tuesday.
“Sometimes we need to play better, myself as well, but you can’t deny that some legs are a bit tired.”
Liverpool are hoping that Mohamed Salah, whose goal in the first leg was his 38th of the season, will be fit for the return.
He was taken off after 52 minutes against City with a groin injury and did not play against Everton.
Reporting by Steve Tongue; Editing by Toby Davis