Jürgen Klopp lauds 'outstanding' Virgil van Dijk following victory against Wolves
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Jürgen Klopp lauds 'outstanding' Virgil van Dijk following victory against Wolves

The Liverpool defender demonstrated another masterclass in defending as well score his first ever league goal for the Reds.

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Joshua Kerr

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was left in awe following the brilliance of his defensive colossus Virgil van Dijk who ran the show yet again in the Reds 2-0 victory at Wolves.

The worlds most expensive defender was flawless at Molineux and is demonstrating the type of form that sets him aside from all others with no equals right now in terms of centre-back.

You get what you pay for in the modern market; the Reds are getting theirs and some as the Dutch captain netted his first ever Premier League goal for Liverpool.

It rounded off a perfect night from Van Dijk who also helped Klopp's team record their 11th clean sheet of the season with the former Celtic defender ever present in every top-flight game for the Reds this campaign.

Van Dijk was very much amongst it with the threat of the electrifying Adama Traore. However, the 27-year-old was incontrovertible in proceedings and his German manager felt his centre-back dealt brilliantly with the Wolves attacking threat.

"That’s a challenge, a proper challenge! The way they play, they changed today with two proper strikers.  

"We had the ball, we pass it around and Adama and (Raul) Jimenez are really involved in defending, but the moment we overplay, they are hiding in smart spaces. You lose one ball and wow, you need to use your motorbike!

“It was clear that we needed to be physical, they were physical in a very good way, no real ugly challenges tonight – and that could have happened with the rain. Both teams tried to play football and played clean, it was really good.

“I have no problem talking about individual performances, but only to the players! Virgil is in a good moment for us. Hopefully, it can stay like this.

"The work rate, in general, is outstanding. I love the boy, but the two in front of them, they have to run much more to make life more comfortable for the defender.

"Dejan (Lovren) played again after not having a perfect pre-season, now having game after game, it’s all good. Without that, we don’t have a chance. The win was deserved and Virgil played a proper part in that."

Klopp yet again was first to embrace his defensive commander on the stroke of the final whistle as the two left the field exchanging words whilst thanking the support of Liverpool's magnificent away fans.

The conversation posed questions to Van Dijk's fitness levels following his 18th consecutive 90 minutes showing in the league. When asked what the two were talking about at the press conference, Klopp said: "Nothing serious! When I speak on the pitch it always looks animated, but most of the time it is completely senseless!”

Fabinho and Henderson impress

It may have been the first fixture that Fabinho and Jordan Henderson operated in midfield together, but, their manager was very impressed with the two who controlled proceedings in the midfield area to help the Reds stroll to victory.

It was the first time the Liverpool skipper and the former Monaco man were paired together in the Premier League.

Fabinho made it two assists in less than a week to tee up the opener for Mohamed Salah while Henderson was integral in the middle of the part controlling the tempo of the match to help extend Liverpool's lead at the top of the league table.

Klopp believed it was the perfect showing from the duo and further highlighted the depth of his squad with changes being a regular occurrence to this very adaptable Reds midfield. 

He said: “We needed it. Gini (Wijnaldum) was just ready for a rest, that’s how it is, so Hendo and Fab can, of course, play together.

“It was a very physical game so we needed proper bodies.

“It was hard for everybody, you saw it, wow! I am not 100% sure about the grass but it felt a bit different to Anfield, a bit deeper maybe, because of the amount of water.

“So that makes life even more uncomfortable for all of them. It was really hard work and I am completely happy with how they did it. Just, how I said, we could have controlled the game a bit more.

“But especially in the second half, Mo was obviously still desperate to score, so he made a few sprints and we had a few chances, the biggest one in the last minute.

“I’m completely happy with the performance in such a difficult game. It’s not how you want to play football all the time, but you want that attitude all the time. It was brilliant.”

Keita injury nothing serious

A perfect injury in the Midlands for Liverpool looked potentially hampered by the injury to midfielder Naby Keita - who was forced off shortly before the hour mark.

The former RB Leipzig midfielder was replaced by Adam Lallana and the worse was feared when Keita hit the deck.

However, Klopp played down any fears of a serious injury and confirmed it won't be a problem and certainly will not add concern to the growing list of squad casualties. 

“Did you see back the first two situations?” Klopp said. “Was there a penalty, because he had a proper cut on the foot!

“Everybody says ‘oh, it was a dive’ but you don’t get a cut from a dive. That was one thing, and he had another one on his ribs.

“It should be good. Two things that are painful but shouldn’t be a big problem.”

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