Liverpool went 16 points clear at the top of the Premier League — with a game in hand — after beating rivals Manchester United 2-0 at Anfield. Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah were the goalscorers in Sunday’s fixture.
Manchester United have been the only team to take points from Jürgen Klopp’s side and Ole Gunnar Solskjær would have hoped his team could have ended the Reds unbeaten run. However, the Liverpool players were up to the test as they dominated the Norwegian’s Manchester United side.
Virgil van Dijk stood out amongst the players in red shirts. He provided his usual world-class defensive performance as well as being an offensive threat.
The Dutchman was being doubled up on when Liverpool had a corner, but the No.4 was able to beat both markers to score the opener. In the 14th minute, Trent Alexander-Arnold whipped in an excellent corner that met the head of van Dijk, who rose above both Harry Maguire and Brandon Williams to put the ball past David De Gea.
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It was no surprise that van Dijk remained calm and composed in defensive situations. He won his only tackle of the game and won two interceptions. He also won three out of four aerial duels as well as winning his only ground duel. The Netherlands captain cleared the ball from danger eight times throughout the game.
The 28-year-old was at the centre of the late onslaught of Manchester United attacks. Solskjær’s team started to go at the Liverpool side in the last 15 minutes with a late rally, but van Dijk organised his defence and helped diminish the effectiveness of any attempt at the Red’s goal.
The 6ft 4in centre-half rose to the occasion, as he so often does, and provided his side with a dominant world-class display against one of Liverpool’s biggest rivals. Time and again he proved why he is one of the best in world and his presence is one of the main reasons why Liverpool concede so few goals.
Up next for van Dijk and his Liverpool teammates is a trip to Wolverhampton on Thursday night. The former Southampton man will be hoping he can score again but more importantly keep another clean sheet.