It was no surprise that Erling Haaland was supremely confident ahead of Red Bull Salzburg’s final Champions League group stage match against Liverpool earlier this week.
The 19-year-old had scored an astonishing 28 goals in 21 games prior to this fixture, including one against the Reds at Anfield in October.
Haaland raised eyebrows by predicting a 3-1 victory over Jurgen Klopp’s side *and* claiming he would score all three of Salzburg’s goals.
However, it proved to be a bitterly disappointing night for the Norway international and his teammates.
Liverpool sealed a 2-0 win at the Red Bull Arena thanks to quick-fire goals from Naby Keita and Mohamed Salah in the second half, condemning their opponents to Europa League football in the process.
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It all got a bit much for the young Haaland, who threw a bottle of water to the ground in anger after Salah doubled the visitors’ advantage in the 58th minute.
He was then substituted with 15 minutes remaining to complete a miserable evening.
Haaland found himself up against the world’s best centre-back in the form of Virgil van Dijk - and the Dutch defender made it crystal clear to his teenage opponent who’s boss very early in the match.
When the Norwegian found himself with a clear run at goal during the opponent minutes, Van Dijk used his pace and strength to get back and rob the striker of possession.
You probably saw it at the time - but a new angle, courtesy of Inside Anfield, is currently being shared on social media.
Watch it here…
Brilliant. That’s why he’s the best in the business.
Haaland has come up some great defenders this season, but none quite like Van Dijk.
Let’s check out some of the reaction in the comments…
That Haaland has been strongly linked with a move to Manchester United presumably made this moment all the sweeter for Liverpool fans.
The Daily Mail have revealed that United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer flew to Salzburg on Friday morning to make a ‘sales pitch’ to Haaland, who recently met with representatives of Borussia Dortmund and Red Bull Leipzig.
Solskjaer previously managed the sought-after striker at Molde and is reportedly desperate to bring him to Old Trafford when the transfer window re-opens next month.
And if this move happens, Haaland and Van Dijk will go head-to-head once again at Anfield on January 19.News Now - Sport News