Van Dijk was defending Mohamed Salah when Sokratis confronted the Egyptian at half-time and accused him of diving to win a first-half penalty.

And the Dutchman said he will always stand up for his team-mates.

“I saw that he went to Mo and was saying that he dived,” Van Dijk said.

“He was attacking him a bit, but I wanted to say he didn’t dive.

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“Obviously everyone came around us and it looked like we were fighting or something but we weren’t.

“I just wanted to talk to him. But that happens in football and we move on.

“I’m protecting my team-mates and that’s normal, that’s how everyone should react and that’s what we all need to do, to back each other. That’s what I definitely do.”

Liverpool are seven points clear at the top of the Premier League after their latest emphatic victory.

Jurgen Klopp’s side travel to title rivals Manchester City in Thursday’s crunch clash and are now favourites to win a first league title since 1990.

Xherdan Shaqiri insists Liverpool will play they usual attacking game and says they will not get distracted by the bigger picture.

“No, for us we don’t go there to take Man City out of the race, we go there for a Premier League game,” he said.

“We go there to make a good performance. That’s the only goal that we have. There are not other things in our minds at the moment.

“We just have to keep going, to work hard every day in training to win games. I’m sure when we keep going like this we are going to be very successful.

“Of course they’re going to come after us and try to win, to grab three points. It’s going to be a very interesting game, a good game.

“We’re looking forward to this game to go and make a very good performance. We’re also confident to try to win the game.”

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