Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk produces poor stat compared to Man Utd legend Nemanja Vidic

  • Kobe Tong

Virgil van Dijk had an eventful night during Liverpool's win over Leeds United on Saturday night.

If you didn't watch the game and skimmed over a few match reports, you'd be forgiven for thinking the Dutchman made a pretty solid start to 2020/21 by scoring Liverpool's second on the night.

But you only need to watch the game's highlights to see that Van Dijk didn't have it all his way on Merseyside, making an uncharacteristic error to allow Patrick Bamford to equalise.

Van Dijk's error vs Leeds

Van Dijk looked to deal with a ball over the top far too casually, attempting a pass to Andrew Robertson on the volley while facing his own goal and the results proved to be disastrous.

Bamford was on hand to intercept the lame attempt, before racing into the penalty area and finishing past Alisson Becker to claim just his second goal in England's top flight.

It was a blasé instinct that we've seen Van Dijk execute to perfection on countless occasions, but Jamie Carragher was quick to pull him up when it failed on commentary for Sky Sports.


Errors leading to goal

The Liverpool legend opined from the Anfield gantry: "Alisson is not happy, he gets between the centre backs there. Virgil van Dijk, that's just too arrogant."

Sure, that doesn't mean that Van Dijk had an absolute disasterclass or anything, but the mistake almost proved costly with Liverpool needing an 88th-minute penalty to snatch the win.

And with it going down in the statistician's book as 'an error leading to goal', it moved Van Dijk to the unwanted status of having producing the most clangers of any outfield player since 2018/19.


Comparisons with Vidic

Van Dijk's total stands at three, which might not sound too horrendous, but it hardly stands up when you compare it to Manchester United legend Nemanja Vidic.

Unless you've been living under a rock, you'll know that Van Dijk vs Vidic became quite the debate during lockdown with United and Liverpool fans passionately fighting the case for their man.

But United supporters have been given a massive leg-up with Van Dijk having now made as many errors leading to goal in the Premier League since 2018/19 as Vidic did in eight seasons. 


Does Vidic have the edge?

Opta started collecting data for this statistic during the 2006/07 season, so we can't account for Vidic's first 15 games in England, but the comparison stands since records began.

Besides, it means that Van Dijk has dropped his three errors within the space of 77 games, while Vidic's own trio came across his 211 outings between 2006 and his United exit in 2014.

Van Dijk has produced an error leading to goal in each of his last three seasons and Vidic's reared their heads during the 2007/08, 2008/09 and 2013/14 campaigns respectively. 


So, does that mean Van Dijk is a fraud and therefore lightyears behind Vidic? Of course not, look, they're both deserving of being considered one of the Premier League's greatest ever defenders.

But I think this statistic goes a long way towards debunking the myth that Vidic was low-key mistake-prone at United because, well, he's pretty much on par with Liverpool's own star man.

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