Arsenal became the latest team to experience the full force of Liverpool’s vastly improved Virgil van Dijk-led defence on Saturday.
The Dutchman strode to another immense performance as the Reds maintained their unbeaten start to the Premier League season with a 1-1 draw against Unai Emery’s increasingly dangerous Gunners.
Liverpool’s record signing was confronted with a serious test of his pace and mobility against a strike duo of Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. It was a test both he and Joe Gomez passed with flying colours.
Van Dijk was typically assertive on the front foot throughout, rarely shying from getting tight to Arsenal’s frontmen as a means of foiling their efforts to turn.
A mixture of his elite positioning and an unflinching aerial dominance meanwhile saw him thwart Arsenal in their efforts to trouble the Reds with crosses into the box.
Besides flexing his long-range passing expertise, the former Southampton man also supplied further reminders of his incredible recovery speed. One occasion in particular saw Van Dijk catch Henrikh Mkhitaryan after he had broken in behind, before out-muscling the Armenian with some ease.
He could have sealed a win for Liverpool himself, forcing Bernd Leno into two vital saves; first being denied from close range after chesting down Mohamed Salah’s cross, before later seeing a towering header tipped over the bar.
It took a superb incisive pass from Alex Iwobi and a clinical improvised finish from Lacazette to breach the centre-back and his teammates on the night.
Amid the debate over who the best centre-back in the league currently is, Van Dijk is personally supplying an answer.
Here’s a look at his best bits from another outstanding display…