There’s no two ways about it, Vigil van Dijk was superb against Crystal Palace.
Liverpool were fully prepared for a physical battle at Selhurst Park on Monday night and Roy Hodgson’s men certainly attempted to ruffle their feathers.
Nevertheless, with Van Dijk delivering an almost faultless performance in the centre of defence, the flying shoulders and leaping headers from Palace caused few problems in the end.
The Dutchman collected the Man of the Match award after the game and received some incredibly high praise from Jamie Carragher in the MNF studio.
“I knew Van Dijk was a good player, but he is better than what I thought,” he informed Sky Sports.
VAN DIJK’S MOTM PERFORMANCE V PALACE
“We’ve always said Liverpool can’t win the Premier League because of their defence, but now they have Van Dijk, who I think is the best centre back in the Premier League.
“There isn’t another centre-back that ticks almost every boxes in terms of presence, pace, strength and ability on the ball.
“If Liverpool under Klopp win something big, and Van Dijk is at the centre of it, he should be disappointed if he’s not alongside Hansen when people talk about the great Liverpool centre-backs.”
NEW REVELATION ABOUT MAN UTD
Some huge compliments indeed and it will make Liverpool fans very smug that they took the risk back in January by making him the most expensive defender in history.
And – after last night’s game – they have extra reason to feel smug virtue of a report by the Daily Mail.
Dominic King revealed in a feature article on Van Dijk that: “It is well known Manchester City were in for Van Dijk, while Chelsea and Arsenal both asked the question of Southampton.
“Now it transpires United did actually throw their hat into the ring and made an enquiry for Van Dijk.
“They wanted to know the terms of his deal last December but, as is typical of that club now, the question was asked on the day Van Dijk was undergoing his medical at Anfield. By then it was too far late. United’s loss is most definitely Liverpool’s gain.”
That’s right, the day after Van Dijk showed his utter class for Liverpool, it’s revealed that Man Utd tried to sign him when he was already having his medical at the club.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to note that’s Liverpool 1-0 Manchester United.
The revelation is made all the more brutal by the fact United spent the entire transfer window searching for a new centre-back in vein.
The Red Devils would kill for the opportunity to have Van Dijk in the centre of their defence right now and specially after the poor performances of Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof recently.
Both players came in for heavy criticism after making a number of errors in the 3-1 defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion just two days ago.
So, there’s numerous reasons for Liverpool fans to celebrate waking up on Tuesday morning and it seems they beat Crystal Palace and United in one night.