By Nick Mashiter, PA
Virgil Van Dijk admits there is no point talking about the Premier League title race after Liverpool’s defeat at Leicester.
Ademola Lookman’s second-half winner condemned the Reds to just their second defeat of the season.
Mohamed Salah had a penalty saved by Kasper Schmeichel, while Sadio Mane fired a golden chance over just before Lookman earned the Foxes’ 1-0 victory.
Second-placed Liverpool could be 12 points behind leaders Manchester City by the time they go to Chelsea on Sunday after failing to close the current six-point gap on Tuesday.
Boss Jurgen Klopp believes his men can forget about catching City if they drop their standards and Van Dijk wants the squad to focus on themselves.
The defender told the club’s official website: “Things can change there. There is no point for us to look at them or look at Chelsea or the teams around us at this point in the season – and we won’t.
“We should look at our performance. We have to improve and take it with us into the next game. We all wanted to do better, that’s a fact and unfortunately we weren’t good enough.
“I think they deserved the win, but it was obviously down to us. We were poor in the last third, in my opinion.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) December 29, 2021
“It was just overall not a good performance and obviously they didn’t create much, but they looked dangerous on the break, which is what they are obviously good at.
“So credit to them and we have to look at ourselves. Everyone has to look in the mirror and improve and that’s what we will do. That’s part of football as well.”
Leicester rose to ninth with victory and hit back after a 6-3 defeat at Manchester City on Boxing Day, which came after they lost on penalties to Liverpool in the Carabao Cup quarter-final last week.
“This week’s been such a tough week. You’ll struggle to find a harder week in world football, playing Liverpool twice and Man City,” midfielder Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall told the club website.
“It’s just a momentous effort from everybody to regroup, dust ourselves down and go again, basically 48 hours after playing Man City.
A win built on the clean sheet. Kasper Schmeichel's penalty save set the tone 🚫 pic.twitter.com/z8qimlP0Lx
— Leicester City (@LCFC) December 29, 2021
“It’s such a rewarding win. Everyone’s so happy and there’s some tired legs in there but that’s what you have to do to beat teams like Liverpool.
“We know what Liverpool are going to bring. They’re a very attacking team and they’re very talented.
“It’s a great save by Kasper to keep it (Salah’s penalty) out and that lifted the crowd and they were great because we need them, especially with quick turnarounds.”