Virgil van Dijk cautious despite 9-point advantage over Man City
Liverpool are nine points clear of champions Man City, but the Dutch defender says his team have learnt from last season's experience
Destiny rests firmly in Liverpool's hands in this season's English Premier League title race.
The increasingly commanding lead that Juergen Klopp's side hold at the summit now appears unassailable, after their 3-1 win over Manchester City yesterday morning (Singapore time).
Nine points separate the Reds from City, while the other two members of the chasing pack, Leicester City and Chelsea, sit just one ahead of the reigning EPL champions.
Anfield continues to yearn giddily for an end to what remains 30 years of domestic hurt.
Fate may finally conspire in their favour when all is said and done on May 17 next year.
Equally, recent history could repeat itself.
At this stage of the campaign, the title should be a foregone conclusion.
Yet, nothing is ever a formality where the modern Liverpool are concerned; a club for whom capitulation runs deep.
Winning merely serves to pile more pressure on the European champions.
They sat seven points clear of City at the midway point of last season and still finished one point adrift of the title.
Little wonder, then, that the Reds' dressing room is exercising a degree of caution over their current advantage, in the knowledge of what lies ahead in the next 26 games.
"Everyone is happy about the win, but I don't think, because the mentality is like, we should get carried away," Virgil van Dijk told The New Paper after the game.
"Nine points clear (of City), we are very happy with the situation, but there are so many difficult teams to beat in the league, so many difficult grounds to go to that we all have in our minds that we shouldn't get carried away."
Van Dijk's apprehension underlines the task before Liverpool.
Following the international break, they face 12 games in 37 days, with two coming within 24 hours of each other due to the uncompromising scheduling of the League Cup quarter-final and Fifa's Club World Cup.
Fighting on multiple fronts brings its own challenges before injuries invariably take hold.
Last term, it was the loss of Trent Alexander-Arnold that proved their greatest undoing.
In the fullback's absence, Klopp's players appeared devoid of their vital creativity from his right flank.
After the England international subdued Raheem Sterling, with the City winger incapable of creating any real chances or even registering a successful cross, his importance has only grown.
But Liverpool have negotiated difficult situations on that front already this season.
Alisson spent nine weeks on the sidelines while Joel Matip's recent lay-off forced Klopp to improvise with his defensive options, with Dejan Lovren and Joe Gomez faring well as his stand-ins.
Whether they will still be able to sustain this current momentum or risk falling away again remains to be seen.
Valuable lessons, however, did emerge from their catastrophic shortfall.
"We took a lot of experience last year. Good things, but also some things we should have done better," insisted van Dijk.
"Hopefully we can only make sure we react better and do better. You need to have that bit of luck as well throughout the whole season, so at the moment we are very happy in the situation.
"We drew one game and won the others and hopefully we can keep it going."
Only Liverpool themselves will determine when, or if, they are finally beaten.
Alisson, Dejan Lovren, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Virgil van Dijk, Andy Robertson, Jordan Henderson (James Milner 61), Fabinho, Georginio Wijnaldum, Mohamed Salah (Joe Gomez 87), Roberto Firmino (Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain 79), Sadio Mane
Claudio Bravo, Kyle Walker, John Stones, Fernandinho, Angelino, Ilkay Guendogan, Rodri, Kevin de Bruyne, Raheem Sterling, Sergio Aguero (Gabriel Jesus 71), Bernardo Silva