New signing Van Dijk's header wins it for Liverpool

09 January, 2018, 02:04 | Author: Edward Fernandez
  • For Van Dijk and Liverpool, a Winning Start

Virgil van Dijk, who joined Liverpool from Southampton in the January transfer window, scored in the Merseyside derby.

Brazil playmaker Philippe Coutinho was again ruled out with a thigh injury as speculation continues to mount over his future amid interest from Barcelona, while top-scorer Mohamed Salah was missing with a groin problem.

Chances, though, were at premium in the first half as Liverpool dominated possession.

James Milner put Liverpool ahead in the 35th minute by converting a penalty, contentiously awarded after Adam Lallana fell to the ground after Mason Holgate placed his hands on the chest of the Liverpool midfielder.

Klopp felt it was not a spot-kick.

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Everton manager Sam Allardyce was more positive with his approach than the fixture last month, although the visitors found Liverpool's defence, marshalled by Van Dijk, resilient and were unable to register a shot on target in the first half. "Exactly the same situation".

Holgate took serious offence to something the Anfield ace shouted at him - after pushing Firmino over the advertising board and into the crowd. Ademola Lookman, Rooney's replacement, fed Phil Jagielka and the center back showed composure to lay the ball back for Sigurdsson to stroke home a finish from the edge of the area.

In that sense, what his goal here delivered was not simply a derby victory - though that, of course, was of the greatest and most immediate significance to Liverpool - and progression to the fourth round of the F.A. Cup, but time.

With the way Van Dijk performed just days after being officially announced as a Liverpool player, the future looks bright and suggests that Klopp and his staff have a very clear mindset with the players they want to bring in to their system and how they can best utlitzie them.

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