Sports

FA Cup: Van Dijk grabs derby victor in dream Liverpool debut

FA Cup: Van Dijk grabs derby victor in dream Liverpool debut

It was a fine finish to a game that was otherwise low on quality, as Liverpool, clearly tired from their Christmas travails, sank to the level of a boring Sam Allardyce Blues side, gifting a sloppy equalizer to Gylfi Sigurdsson after a first half penalty from James Milner had put Jurgen Klopp's team ahead.

His headed goal off of an Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain corner kick in the 84th minute sent Anfield into an absolute delirium, instantaneously cementing himself into Liverpool folklore; you simply could not have written a better script for the Dutch global on his debut. "It was thoroughly deserved, it felt fantastic to be out there, the goal is very special for me and my family".

Virgil van Dijk, who joined Liverpool from Southampton in the January transfer window, scored in the Merseyside derby. "To score a goal is even more special". Gylfi Sigurdsson then equalized for the visitors. Wayne Rooney scythed down Joe Gomez early on and was shown a yellow card. Still, a penalty was awarded and Milner deftly clipped the ball down the middle. "He arguably could've been given a handful of calls with the way Everton's attacking players were trying to rattle him, but the referee was hesitant to whistle anything in favor of the 6′ 4" center back. After a flare-up on the touchline, Firmino reacted angrily to being pushed into an advertising hoarding and shouted something at Holgate.

The Reds' record £75million centre-back netted a dramatic 84th-minute goal to haul his new side into the FA Cup fourth round.

Klopp sees Van Dijk as not just an imposing aerial barrier - he headed clear a dozen, if not more, booming goal kicks from Everton's Jordan Pickford - but as a vocal guide, an organizer, and a leader, something the club's defense has lacked since the retirement of Jamie Carragher in 2013.


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