Liverpool couldn’t have asked for a better start to their Premier League campaign.
The Reds picked up exactly where they left off with an impressive 4-0 victory over West Ham, virtue of goals from Mohamed Salah, Daniel Sturridge and a brace from Sadio Mane.
It was yet another showing of Liverpool’s incredible attacking brand of football and sent an ominous message to the rest of the league.
Aside from all the flair in the final third, though, it was also a solid defensive performance from the home team and ensured they started the campaign with a clean sheet.
Alisson Becker made his debut between the sticks, playing in front of a back four comprised of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez, Virgil van Dijk and Andrew Robertson.
VAN DIJK CONTINUES TO IMPRESS
And, frankly, where would Liverpool’s defence be without Van Dijk?
Since his arrival in January, the club’s back four has come on leaps and bounds with Van Dijk not only delivering brilliant performances of his own but improving the teammates around him.
As a result, Liverpool feasibly have a defence worthy of launching a title challenge and the Dutchman’s £75 million price tag looks rather accurate.
NEVILLE MAKES VAN DIJK ADMISSION
Van Dijk’s showings have even caught the attention of Gary Neville who – given his fierce allegiance to Manchester United – isn’t one to dish out praise to Liverpool players easily.
Even Neville himself, though, has been forced to admit that he got things wrong about Van Dijk.
After the 4-0 victory over West Ham, Neville noted: “I thought Van Dijk was a good player at Southampton but I didn’t think he was worth £75m, and I didn’t think he would have the impact on Liverpool’s defence that he’s had.
“He’s a monster, and is looking a bit like Jaap Stam. It looks like he just throws people out of the way.”
That’s right Liverpool fans, Neville has admitted that he got things wrong.
Van Dijk has proven so many critics wrong in recent weeks and even changed perceptions about the capabilities of Liverpool under Klopp.
After all, the Reds are being widely viewed as the most likely team to challenge Manchester City this season and ensure they fail to retain their crown.
Neville still has a few reservations, though, explaining: “You look at that midfield, with Wijnaldum, Keita and Milner, with Henderson still to come in. There is some strength in depth there.
“Can Liverpool reproduce that high-intensity football Saturday-Wednesday? And did they need another centre-forward in case Firmino is out?
“Because I do think there is a big drop in intensity in their play when him or Salah are not playing.”
Ah well, the Van Dijk compliment will suffice.