Virgil van Dijk reacted strongly to Mo Salah being confronted at half-time vs Arsenal

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Liverpool delivered a footballing clinic during their first 45 minutes against Arsenal.

Having only taken a point from the Emirates Stadium in their previous meeting, Jurgen Klopp's men had no intention of settling for a draw second time around.

That's despite the fact Arsenal actually took the lead, with Ainsley Maitland-Niles bagging his first goal for the Gunners after latching on to Alex Iwobi's cross.

However, their advantage didn't last for long as Liverpool equalised under bizarre circumstances, Roberto Firmino delivering his latest no-look finish after chaos ensued in Arsenal's penalty area.

There was no doubting the quality of the second goal, however, with Firmino showing incredible close control before slotting home past a statuesque Bernd Leno.

Liverpool thrash Arsenal

The third then arrived virtue of Sadio Mane, before Liverpool had the opportunity to make it 4-1 prior to half-time with Mohamed Salah winning a penalty.

The Egyptian duly converted, sending Anfield into dreamland, but it wasn't without controversy as far as the Arsenal players were concerned.

That was particularly apparent at half-time when Sokratis Papastathopoulos - who conceded the penalty - deciding to approach Salah about the incident.

Liverpool FC v Arsenal FC - Premier League

Van Dijk defending Salah at HT

To say that was a bad idea would be putting things mildly as Virgil van Dijk quickly came to the defence of his mercurial teammate.

Television cameras quickly saw the Dutchman getting in between Sokratis and Salah, giving him an earful and then approaching him a second time before they entered the tunnel.

Liverpool fans were incredibly impressed with the defender's behaviour and videos of the episode have started to spread across Twitter.

Take a look at the footage here and all of the reaction:

Just when you think Liverpool fans couldn't love Van Dijk anymore, he goes and does that.

It's worth noting that Van Dijk wasn't the only player who came to Salah's defence, with Georginio Wijnaldum and Jordan Henderson also confronting Sokratis during the scuffle.

The general consensus is that the penalty was the right decision, but the controversy surrounding Salah and spot kicks can't have helped the situation.

There was debating about the Liverpool star after the penalty he won against Newcastle, but there can be doubting the decision on this occasion.

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And as much as Sokratis can complain about the awarding, he should probably have focused on the Arsenal defending and Laurent Koscielny was introduced at half-time.

Liverpool continued to pile on the pressure after the break, but it was the penalty that hammered the final nail in Arsenal's coffin.

Do you think Van Dijk should be appointed Liverpool captain? Have your say in the comments section below.

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