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Virgil van Dijk walked away from interview over Erling Haaland question

Virgil van Dijk walked away from interview over Erling Haaland question

The Liverpool defender will come up against Haaland on Sunday but it won't be the first time, and the forward's annoyed him in the past.

Erling Haaland once gave a performance so good against Virgil van Dijk that the Liverpool centre back walked out on an interview after being asked about the Manchester City striker.

Van Dijk has not been having the best season so far and has fallen short of his usual high standards, following a few really poor performances.

Whilst he has hit back at some of the criticism aimed at him, and the rest of his Liverpool teammates, the stats do suggest that his 'aura' has slipped somewhat at the beginning of the current campaign.

With the Reds already 13 points short of City, and lying in 11th place in the league, the last thing they really need is a visit of City at Anfield, with Haaland in especially incredible form.

The City striker has 20 goals for the club already since he joined them in the summer, in all competitions, including breaking the record for quickest player to three Premier League hat-tricks, smashing it by 40 games.

It won't be the first time that Van Dijk has come up against Haaland, and he actually managed to keep him quiet earlier this year, in the Community Shield.

Their first meeting in club football came in 2019 in the Champions League, when Haaland was playing for Red Bull Salzburg, and the striker did score at Anfield.

That goal, coming off the bench, was one of a few chances for the big striker, and after the match Van Dijk was asked about his opponent, and got rather annoyed at the questioning.

"The first time I saw him [Haaland] live was at Anfield when he came on and I was amazed that this young kid created so much space," Norwegian journalist Jan Aage Fjortoft told the Blood Red podcast.

"He scored one goal but he could have had three or four - he was unbelievable. I was amazed how he created space and how I define that is how his runs are wise and experienced.

Van Dijk kept Haaland out in July at Wembley. Image: Alamy
Van Dijk kept Haaland out in July at Wembley. Image: Alamy

"After the game, I interviewed Van Dijk, who I always like to interview because he is a gentleman, and I said 'I have to ask you about the Norwegian, Erling Haaland' and he just said: 'Well, we won the game'. So I said 'Yes, but what do you think about him?'

"Van Dijk said: 'I didn't see a lot of him' and he was a bit angry because there was some mistakes done and I said 'It's a good sign for a striker when a defender says he didn't see him!' - and then he just went away."

It was already Haaland's second goal group that season, having scored a hat-trick in Salzburg's first game against Genk, though Liverpool won 4-3.

He went on to score in the following three games and was only denied scoring in every group game by Liverpool in the return to Austria.

Haaland celebrates scoring at Anfield. Image: Alamy
Haaland celebrates scoring at Anfield. Image: Alamy

The Reds best chance of getting a result against Pep Guardiola's side on Sunday will obviously if they can stop Haaland from getting a goal.

According to Van Dijk they have a plan to stop him getting the ball, with the Dutchman saying, "We have to try to stop the balls going to him, defend at the highest level, and be at our best."

If they don't manage that then the former Southampton star might be walking out of another post match interview.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Liverpool, Manchester City, Virgil Van Dijk, Erling Haaland, Premier League