‘Excellent’ van Dijk at the double to put Liverpool 11 points clear of Manchester City

Virgil van Dijk showed why he is competing with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi for the 2019 Ballon d’Or award with a match-winning performance against Brighton.

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Liverpool beat Brighton and Hove Albion 2-1 at Anfield to go 11 points ahead of second place. A brace from defender Virgil van Dijk helped the Reds take advantage Manchester City’s slip up at St James’ Park as the the Citizens drew 1-1.

It was a great start for Klopp’s side as they dominated the Seagulls in the opening half-hour. The East Sussex side came back strong but ultimately two goals from Dutchman van Dijk would seal the three points for his side.

Once again the No.4 was excellent defensively. The centre-half won all four ground duels and he also won all three aerial duels. He won his only attempted tackle and cleared the ball from danger on three occasions. Van Dijk’s distribution from the back was very consistent, as he achieved a 93% passing accuracy.

Virgil van Dijk’s aerial presence is one of his main assets and he showcased it at Anfield. The defender scored twice with his head, the first coming from a Trent Alexander-Arnold free-kick in the 18th minute. The English full-back whipped in a cross that found the Netherlands international who beat Brighton ‘keeper Mat Ryan with a looping header.

The pair of van Dijk and Alexander-Arnold linked up once again twelve minutes later, this time from a corner. The Dutchman’s more powerful header was enough to beat Ryan for the second time.

Unfortunately, the former Southampton man was unable to help his side keep a clean sheet. After Alisson Becker found himself on the end of a red card, Brighton would end up scoring from a free-kick shortly after.

Virgil van Dijk has transformed the Liverpool defence ever since his record transfer. The Netherlands captain is up for the Ballon d’Or award on Monday evening and, after his 2019 performances, hopefully he can pick up the prestigious prize.

Liverpool will next go on to play Merseyside rivals Everton. Virgil van Dijk scored his first Reds goal against the Toffees and hopefully he can go on and score another.