Virgil van Dijk produced a defensive masterclass for Liverpool in the Merseyside derby against Everton on Sunday afternoon.
Former Red Jamie Carragher described the Dutchman’s performance as “unbelievable”, while his Sky Sports colleague Gary Neville called it a “joke”.
“I think he should be PFA Player of the Year. Maybe it’s too early for that, but today, if he’s not playing, I think Everton win the game,” Carragher added.
“He looks like a man playing in a kids’ game. He’s playing against some of the top players in European football in the Premier League, but everything is so easy.
“You actually feel like he’s not getting tested enough. You still feel like there are more gears for him to go into.”
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However, while Van Dijk did his job at the back, Liverpool’s forwards were unable to score the goal to seal the Reds all three points.
Jurgen Klopp’s men now find themselves one point behind league-leaders Manchester City with nine games left to play after spurning the chance to return to the top of the table.
In his post-match interview with Sky Sports, a frustrated Van Dijk couldn’t resist taking a dig at Everton for ‘celebrating’ their 0-0 draw against their local rivals.
“I think based on the chances we deserved three points,” he told Sky Sports.
“It says a lot that they are celebrating a 0-0.
“We had chances but we didn’t finish them off.
“I like to play in these games but we came here for three points and we didn’t get them. It’s time now to recover for the next game.
“Everyone wants to be top of the league. But the situation is how it is. We can’t change that at the moment – all we can do is win games. The focus is on the next one.”
Watch Van Dijk’s post-match interview here…
While Liverpool fans may have appreciated Van Dijk’s dig, the Netherlands international’s comment sparked a big reaction from other football fans on social media.
Many were quick to point out that Liverpool once celebrated a 2-2 draw against West Brom.
One of the most popular replies to Sky Sport’s tweet was the image of Liverpool’s players lined up in front of the Kop end after that draw against the Baggies in December 2015.
Others accused Van Dijk of being salty after failing to beat the Toffees.
And there was some who outright mocked him for his comments.
It’s fair to say the vast majority of Everton fans don’t want to see their local rivals win the Premier League title this season, which isn’t surprising.
It’s this kind of goading that Liverpool’s players will need to rise above if they’re to finish the season ahead of Man City in the table.