Virgil van Dijk boasted the world class statistics to gloss his Man of the Match performance in Liverpool’s win at Crystal Palace on Monday.
The Dutchman was immense at the heart of defence to stand firm against the hosts’ search for an equaliser in the second half.
His towering presence and commanding assertiveness in the box proved too much for the aerial threat of Christian Benteke as he provided further justification of his mammoth transfer fee.
Unnerved and unflinching, Van Dijk prowled to arguably his most accomplished display since signing for the club and teased further signs of his value in a potential title challenge.
The £75million man won every one of his tackles at Selhurst Park, as well as completing 73 out of 79 attempted passes.
Virgil van Dijk’s game by numbers vs. Crystal Palace:
100% tackles won
92.4% pass accuracy
10 successful long balls
9 aerial duels won
1 clean sheet
Dominant display. 💪 pic.twitter.com/pvDuH10vW0
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) August 20, 2018
Van Dijk’s calming presence was complimented by another assured performance from Joe Gomez beside him, not to mention Alisson’s supreme composure on the ball between the sticks.
Second half pressure from Palace proved an intriguing early insight into Liverpool’s defensive stability and organisation, which was rarely tested in the opening game against West Ham.
In a game when Roy Hodgson’s men warned every team in the league of what a danger they can be, Van Dijk looked largely untroubled. For Jurgen Klopp to have him at his disposal for an entire season promises to be a monumental boost.