7 clearances, 2 blocked shots – Amazing numbers show Liverpool’s star man was outstanding vs Arsenal

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Virgil Van Dijk’s game in numbers – the standout performer vs Arsenal

Liverpool against Arsenal is always a game that promises plenty of goals and action. Goals were meant to galore in this game but it soon turned out to be a disciplined and systematic battle. The Reds played out a 1-1 draw at the Emirates as both teams went for the win until the final whistle.

James Milner opened the scoring for Liverpool after Bernd Leno’s poor clearance fell gracefully for the English midfielder. Alexandre Lacazette then caught Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker in no man’s land as he curled his shot into the top corner to level the matters.

It was a game of superb defensive showing as well, with Liverpool defender Virgil Van Dijk once again putting in a flawless performance at the back. Undeniably, he was the Reds’ best player on the night, who not only marshalled the defence but also came closest to finding the net apart from Milner’s goal.

Virgil van Dijk

Since the arrival of the Dutchman in January, Liverpool have conceded the lowest goals across Europe’s top five leagues. He has made a significant impact at the back and the Reds now seem almost impossible to breach.

The pace and the ability were always going to threaten Liverpool’s backline, but Van Dijk along with his new-found partner Joe Gomez put in a great shift. The Dutchman made a total of 1 successful tackle, 1 interception and 7 clearances over the course of the game.

He also blocked 2 important shots as both Lacazette and Aubameyang found space in the middle. (Stats courtesy – Whoscored)

The latter also found himself through on goal in the first half before Van Dijk daunted back to make a supreme challenge and save the Reds’ day.

He also came closest to handing Jurgen Klopp’s men the lead when Mohamed Salah sent a teasing cross into the box that the Dutchman controlled ever so well only to be able to release a tame shot that was dutifully saved by Bernd Leno. Van Dijk attempted a total of 3 shots on goal.

Leno was then let off the hook after completely missing a punched clearance that saw Van Dijk leap highest only for the ball to come back off the post. The German goalkeeper once again denied the former Southampton defender his first league goal for Liverpool after pulling off a superb save off a corner.

Read more: Enough is enough – Liverpool must sell this on-loan flop if he returns in January

Van Dijk has undoubtedly transformed this Liverpool team into something of a force to reckon with. What was once a leaky and easily breached backline is now one of the most rigid defences in Europe.

The Dutchman’s arrival has also seen the other defenders’ performance levels rise and it surely can’t be a coincidence. Van Dijk definitely is a gem of a defender for the Reds and a commanding leader.

Sebastian Jacob

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