Liverpool made good on first part of 'obligation' after Virgil van Dijk request

Harvey Elliott scored a screamer for Liverpool that Virgil van Dijk and Cody Gakpo both enjoyed.

Liverpool captain Virgil van Dijk requested that his side finished this season strongly despite third spot being sewn up before his side's excellent performance and 4-2 win over Tottenham. He outlined exactly why doing so is so important.

With Jürgen Klopp leaving after the final Premier League match of the campaign against Wolves and Feyenoord head coach Arne Slot coming in to replace him, there is an emotional reason for getting back to winning ways. But there are also more pragmatic reasons ahead of the new era.

"We've now reached the final three games of the season and the finishing line is coming into view, but this doesn't mean there is any scope for easing up," Van Dijk wrote in his matchday program notes before the Reds beat Spurs. "The opposite is actually true we have an obligation to ourselves and to our supporters to keep on pushing all the way to the end.

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"If we do this then we can see where we end up. No one needs me to say what is and isn't possible, everyone can see the league table and make their own minds up about where we are likely to finish, but whatever the likely outcome might be our aim has to be to finish the season as strongly as we possibly can.

"The reasons for this are clear. Firstly, we always want to win as many games as we possibly can. Secondly, we know it's unlikely that both of the teams above us will slip up, but we have to be ready just in case they do. Thirdly, experience tells us that ending one season positively can definitely create momentum that can be taken into the next one."

Part one of that plan has now been enacted. Cody Gakpo and Harvey Elliott led the way with excellent performances against Spurs, with Mohamed Salah also scoring from open play for the first time since March. Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold played well and Liverpool only let its opponent back into the contest when Klopp made changes from the bench.

"The incentives are there for all of us to see so let's go for it," Van Dijk continued. "There will be a time to take stock when we can make our own minds up about the season we have had, but that time is not now. The only focus at this point should be collecting as many points as we can from the last nine that are available to us." says: Van Dijk is absolutely right about the need to finish the campaign well and Liverpool took a big step toward that on Sunday. Was it because the pressure is off now or was it because the players had a rare free midweek to prepare? In all likelihood, it is a combination of both factors.