Front three misfire but van Dijk blunts the Blades

Liverpool were generally poor against Sheffield United but Virgil van Dijk performed like his usual dominant, impenetrable self.

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Liverpool picked up their seventh consecutive win of the season after beating Sheffield United 1-0 at Bramall Lane. Jürgen Klopp’s side endured a tough 90 minutes against the Blades who defended brilliantly throughout the whole game.

Chris Wilder’s side made life difficult for the Reds who struggled to break down a well organised back line. Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mané were all unusually off the pace in Saturdays early kick off while the midfield offered little creativity going forward.  

Liverpool were fortunate to get the three points as a Georginio Wijnaldum volley would be spilled through Blades ‘keeper Dean Henderson’s legs with 20 minutes left to play.

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The visitors’ attacking play was lacklustre throughout most of the game, but the Anfield club were solid at the back. Virgil van Dijk was especially excellent. The Dutchman was voted the man of the match and deservedly so.

The No.4 was the best player on the pitch in a Liverpool kit. He commanded the defence like he usually does while also dominating the air. The centre half won 85% of his aerial duels against the newly promoted side. The former Southampton man made seven clearances as well as completing one interception in the 90 minutes.

Van Dijk’s distribution was also exceptional. The defender completed 12 accurate long balls in the game. One of those including a pass to Mané in the 36th minute who should have finished at the end of the long ball. His overall passing accuracy in the match was 82.5%.

The dominant defender proves time and again why he is one of the best around. While Liverpool were generally poor away at Sheffield United, van Dijk was his usual self.  He was one of the main reasons Klopp’s team were able to keep a clean sheet as well as come away with all three points.

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