Jamie Carragher reacts to Virgil van Dijk display in Liverpool win
Jamie Carragher has told Super Sunday (broadcast on Sky Sports; 16/10; 18:47) that Virgil van Dijk was probably more intense than he has ever seen in Liverpool’s superb victory over Manchester City on Sunday.
Reds fans will be hoping that the 1-0 win at Anfield ignites their season. Mohamed Salah scored the only goal to evoke memories of the Liverpool side which dominated English football alongside Pep Guardiola’s men for several years.
A number of their players stepped up in a way not seen for much of this campaign. Salah was ‘brilliant’ throughout. Meanwhile, there was also praise for Joe Gomez’s display.
van Dijk more intense than Carragher has seen
But van Dijk reminded everyone of just how good he can be. Obviously, he was handed one of the most daunting tasks in world football right now by trying to contain Erling Haaland.
But the Dutchman absolutely won that battle. Haaland failed to score for only the second time in the Premier League since his arrival.
He won two tackles and made seven clearances, according to Whoscored. No player managed to clear the ball more often. And Carragher suggested that the 31-year-old was able to silence his doubters.
“You think of today’s performances: Virgil van Dijk at the back – I know Joe Gomez got the man of the match and that was fine – but I thought Virgil van Dijk played with probably more intensity than I’ve ever seen him play because he is getting questioned,” he told Super Sunday.
“He was up against Haaland. He was trying to leave one on Haaland every time the ball came into him.”
Obviously, the challenge for Liverpool’s key players is to produce an equally colossal performance on a much more regular basis.
Manchester City would have surely always expected Liverpool to step up to another level against them. But Jurgen Klopp will know that there is still plenty of work to be done.
The good news is that there is a long, long way to go this season. Liverpool have time to turn around their fortunes and get back amongst the top spots in the table.
Certainly, if the likes of van Dijk and Salah step up in the way they did on Sunday in the coming weeks, Liverpool’s slow start will be a thing of the past in no time at all.