Ally McCoist says Mitrovic had Virgil van Dijk's number on Saturday
Ally McCoist has told talkSPORT that Aleksandar Mitrovic had Virgil van Dijk’s number on Saturday, and claimed that he had not seen the Liverpool centre-back look so uncomfortable before.
The Reds got off to a stuttering start as the new Premier League campaign began. Jurgen Klopp’s men needed to twice come from behind to earn a point against newly-promoted Fulham at Craven Cottage.
Mitrovic was a monster in the game. For the opener, he showed so much more desire than Trent Alexander-Arnold to get on the end of a cross and head home at the back post.
And it was Mitrovic who won the penalty for the home side’s second. He managed to entice van Dijk to stick a leg out and there appeared to be the slightest contact between their two knees. The Serbia international converted the spot-kick.
Thankfully for the Reds, goals from Darwin Nunez and Mohamed Salah ensured that they took home a point. But it was not a good day at the office for Liverpool’s backline.
And McCoist has now suggested that he has not seen van Dijk endure such a difficult time.
“It’s the first time I’ve seen him look uncomfortable against an out-and-out centre-forward. The first thing you’ve got to say, it shows you the quality of van Dijk because he’s, without doubt, one of the best defenders in world football,” he told talkSPORT.
“But he had a game on Saturday where Mitrovic gave him certainly one or two problems and a few headaches. And I haven’t really seen that before. You’ve got to say, it’s been a long time coming because van Dijk’s been absolutely brilliant. But it certainly looked as though Mitrovic had his number.”
Mitrovic had van Dijk’s number
It is too soon for Liverpool fans to worry too much. Fulham had a major point to prove after being written off by many. And they had little to lose given the opposition.
But there is no question that the Reds looked lacklustre. And it took a long time for them to find another gear when a defeat looked to be on the cards.
Van Dijk was not the only one to struggle. And Crystal Palace may now fancy their chances of leaving Anfield with a positive result next Monday.
But even in criticism, van Dijk is getting plaudits from McCoist. That highlights the quality he has. And clearly, the pundit will not be at all surprised if he is back to his best the next time Liverpool take to the pitch.
You may also like…
- Liverpool’s ‘incredible’ player has just been injured prior to facing Arsenal in more misery for Klopp
- Report: Liverpool now ready to sign ‘astonishingly gifted’ midfielder who Antonio Conte is ‘crazy’ about
- Virgil van Dijk tells Liverpool fans an absolute diamond is coming through, waiting for his debut
- ‘He was the player’: Carragher says Van Dijk has left himself open to criticism for Liverpool performances