Southampton vs Liverpool: Remembering Virgil van Dijk's incredible tackle on Sadio Mane

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Liverpool and Southampton have a bit of a love/hate relationship.

Liverpool love signings players from Southampton and Southampton hate it.

In recent years, the Reds have raided the Saints from some of their best players.

Peter Crouch, Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren, Nathaniel Clyne, Sadio Mane and Virgil van Dijk have all swapped the south coast down the years.

But one player recent went the other way and is doing very well indeed.

Danny Ings moved to Southampton for £20 million in the summer of 2019 and notched 22 Premier League goals last season.

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He will be looking to punish his former club this evening when they meet at St Mary’s.

He won’t be up against former Southampton defender Van Dijk, who sustained a serious ACL injury earlier in the season. Whether or not we see him for the remainder of the campaign remains to be seen.

The Dutchman is the best defender in the world on his day and the £75 million Liverpool spent on him in January 2018 was money very well spent.

Jurgen Klopp knew that Van Dijk was the perfect defender to take this Liverpool side to the next level - and was willing to wait around for him.

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While the cub’s scouts no doubt did extensive research into Van Dijk and analysed every aspect of his game, his performance against Liverpool for Southampton back in 2016 would have made everyone sit up and take notice.

The match finished 0-0 with the then Southampton defender picking up the Man of the Match award.

And one incredible tackle on Mane made everyone sit up and take notice.

In fact, the challenge was posted onto Liverpool’s Reddit page and more than 200 comments were made as they remembered the superb piece of defending by Van Dijk.

Check out some of the comments:

One wrote: "I remember that game thinking omg they have a tank at the back, we should sign him. He was incredible that night."

Another added: "Remember saying 'No way this tw*t is faster than Mane' when this happened."

"I remember watching this game with an interest in seeing how VVD performed against us. After seeing this tackle I told everyone for months that he was the CB we needed and I didn’t want anyone else. His signing was extra special for me!" said another fan.

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One supporter replied: "Can't believe someone posted this - It's the exact moment burned into my mind where I was like, 'Yeah, this is the guy we need.'"

A fifth added: "This was the game I started dreaming we would sign him as our defense was seriously lacking at this time. Even though we were flush with cash after the Coutinho sale, I was still in shock when they announced his signing. One of the happiest transfers I've ever experienced."

Little did they know back then, they would be fortunate enough to see both Van Dijk and Mane link up at Anfield.

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