Liverpool maintained their 100% record in the Premier League this season with a gritty 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.
Jurgen Klopp named an unchanged eleven from the side that downed West Ham 4-0 at Anfield last weekend. The Reds dominated the early stages but couldn’t find a breakthrough until Mohamed Salah was tripped in the box and James Milner slotted the resulting penalty. Liverpool soaked up the pressure, and a late counter-attack was finished expertly by Sadio Mane to wrap up all three points.
It was another impressive display by the Reds led by one man in particular – Virgil van Dijk. The Dutchman was a rock at the heart of the defence, keeping Christian Benteke at bay while helping Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joe Gomez deal with the threat of Wilfried Zaha. It was an assured display that made the £75m fee Liverpool paid Southampton to look like a bargain.
Against Palace, Van Dijk won 100% of his tackles and nine aerial duels – more than any other player on the pitch. As well as dominating defensively, the defender completed 92% of his passes highlighting his quality on the ball (WhoScored). Last week against West Ham, Van Dijk retained an incredible 98.4% pass accuracy – a statistic which no player has bettered since the Premier League kicked off last season (Twitter).
The Dutchman has already stuck up an excellent partnership with Joe Gomez who has looked brilliant since moving back to the centre of defence. Their performances will be key to any success Liverpool have this season.
With Alisson Becker in goal and Van Dijk in defence, the Premier League title is definitely within Liverpool’s grasp.
Liverpool fans, what would you rate Van Dijk’s performance?