Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

Garth Crooks says Virgil van Dijk simply had 'another day at the office' in 5-0 win

Garth Crooks picked out Virgil van Dijk as a star of the weekend with his display at Old Trafford. The Dutchman kept another clean sheet.

How good were Liverpool at Old Trafford? Remarkably good. So good, in fact, that Garth Crooks named five Reds in his Team of the Week for the BBC.

Manchester United simply couldn’t cope with Liverpool. They barely laid a glove on them going forward, while defensively things actually looked unfair at times. The Reds’ movement undid United’s shape time after time, leading to four goals before half-time.

Van Dijk was instrumental in making sure United didn’t do the same to Liverpool, though. After all, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer lined up with four forwards in the team, all of whom offered a serious threat.

But Van Dijk helped make sure that they offered little. His display earned him a spot in the BBC Team of the Week.

Garth Crooks on Van Dijk

“Well, what can I say about my favourite defender,” wrote Garth Crooks. “In a game where Liverpool won 5-0 against a top-four contender, his partner Ibrahima Konate was quietly outstanding in what will be remembered as one of the great victories by a Liverpool side at Old Trafford.

“As for Van Dijk, it seemed like just another day at the office.”

My Revenge On Ben Foster

Van Dijk was great but, in truth, he didn’t have to do all that much. Statsbomb data on FBref shows that off best.

Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

The 30-year-old faced two aerial duels, didn’t have to make a single tackle, only made one interception and cleared the ball four times. That was enough to keep a clean sheet.

Instead, Van Dijk – and Konate for that matter – relied on sweeping up after the press. He recovered a loose ball seven times (Konate 14 times) as Liverpool pressed United off the pitch.

So yeah – Crooks is right. This really was just another day at the office for Van Dijk. He made playing up against Cristiano Ronaldo look awfully routine.

Have something to tell us about this article?
Let us know
or Comment Below
LOGIN to Comment
LOGIN to Comment