Dion Dublin has picked Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk’s piece of defending in the Reds’ 2-1 win against Tottenham at Anfield at the end of March as his outstanding moment of the season.
Liverpool’s win against Tottenham, secured by a 90th minute winner after the ball hit Toby Alderweireld and went in for an own goal, was crucial allowing Jurgen Klopp’s side to keep the pressure on Manchester City at a vital part of the season.
Dublin singled out Van Dijk’s defensive instincts as his moment of the season, for the moment where Tottenham’s Moussa Sissoko was running through on goal with the score level at 1-1, and he had the option to pass the ball, but the Dutch defender closed off the space for a pass forcing the Frenchman to blaze his effort off target.
“In order for Liverpool to go as far as they did with Manchester City they needed someone like Virgil van Dijk, and one moment stands out against Tottenham, when the best defender in the world, is left two-on-one and manages to make the decision for Sissoko to miss,” Dublin told Sky Sport’s Premier League end of season The Debate on Monday (13/05, 22:56).
Dublin is right to praise Van Dijk for his defending in that particular incident against Tottenham, in a moment where if the Netherlands international had got it wrong Liverpool probably would have gone on to lose the game. A defeat for Klopp’s side in that game would have seen any title hopes ended, therefore for Van Dijk to show such calmness when confronted with a two-on-one scenario near the end of the game, shows the type of qualities he showed all season on his way to being named PFA Player of the Year. The Dutchman has had an exceptional season for Liverpool, and he will be hoping to help his side finish the campaign on a high, by beating Tottenham in the Champions League final in Madrid. Van Dijk alongside his team-mates probably deserves to end the season with some silverware after just missing out on the Premier League title. They now have the opportunity to make sure they do, as they look to go one better than last season and win Europe’s premier club competition.