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01-Mar-2020, 04:10 am

'Talk of the records is all media' - Van Dijk reacts to Watford defeat that ends Liverpool's 44-game run

Virgil van Dijk Liverpool 2019-20

Virgil van Dijk says "talk of records is all media" as he attempted to play down the significance of Liverpool's shock 3-0 defeat at Watford, a result that brought their 44-game unbeaten Premier League run to an end.

Two goals from Ismaila Sarr and a third from Troy Deeney earned a famous victory for the Hornets at Vicarage Road on Saturday, with the Merseysiders tasting defeat in the league for the first time in 422 days, stretching back to a 2-1 reverse against Manchester City at Etihad Stadium on January 3, 2019.

It ends Liverpool's hopes of going the whole season unbeaten and matching the achievement of Arsenal's 'Invincibles' side of 2004, as well as falling five games short of that same Arsenal side's record 49-game unbeaten run.

The loss also means they fall one match short of breaking the English record for successive top-flight wins, currently shared with Manchester City, with their defeat in Hertfordshire bringing their run of 18 straight victories to a halt.

Despite the result Liverpool are all but certain to end their 30-year wait for a league title, with the Reds still 22 points clear at the top of the table.

Van Dijk conceded that Liverpool were far from their best against the Hornets but insists their sole focus now is improving for the next game, not on what records the team can or cannot break between now and the end of the season.

"I think first of all credit to Watford - the chances they created they stick to their plan they scored three goals we didn't create too many opportunities and we can't take the credit away from Watford. We need to improve, it's a tough one to take," he told BBC Sport.

"If you conceded three goals we have to improve as a team and we will.

"Losing hurts, the records are only for the media we didn't mention it once, we keep going. We want to win the next game in the FA Cup and then in the league against Bournemouth - I mean, that's the only way forward.

"The whole season we haven't lost a game like this. They did very, very well and we should have done better - we want to strike back straight away.

"Two throw-ins, we have to look at it, there is no reason for panic. We don't want to concede, we look at it but we don't have to panic.

"The record and the talk of the records is all media, we just try to win every game ahead of us.

"We will focus on the next game, the cup game, and we try to win there. We have to stay humble and work harder next game."

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