The Dutchman was an absolute rock at the back throughout the entirety of the last-16 Champions League encounter at San Siro and was deservedly handed the Man of the Match award at full-time.
Inter’s array of talented forwards just couldn’t lay a glove on Van Dijk, with strike duo Lautaro Martinez and Edin Dzeko – two of the finest in the business – both finding out how hard it is to beat the centre-back 1v1.
As we reported HERE, Martinez pretty much gave up on a counterattack when he realised he’d have to get past Van Dijk in order to test Alisson Becker in the Liverpool goal.
Dzeko didn’t abandon his pursuit into the penalty area, but still felt the full force of the Dutch defender’s athleticism and supreme footballing intelligence after actually taking a decent first touch.
Following those two standout moments featuring Van Dijk on Wednesday evening, one Liverpool fan has created a quite marvellous compilation that includes some of the former Southampton man’s most epic 1v1 battles.
Spoiler alert, Van Dijk emerges victorious in every clip…
Video: Van Dijk’s epic 1v1 battles
Virgil Van Dijk – The Art of 1 v 1 Defending— CF Comps (@CF_Comps) February 17, 2022
Liverpool’s pragmatic genius just makes it look so, so easy as well and there’s no other defender on the planet you’d rather have in a 1v1 situation.
Yes, that includes Ruben Dias and Antonio Rudiger.
Van Dijk wasn’t at his brilliant, commanding best at the very start of the 2021/22 season after finally overcoming the serious knee injury he suffered versus Everton in late 2020.
But we’re now seeing a Van Dijk that’s very similar to the one that dominated strikers for fun in 2018/19 and 2019/20.
And that means Liverpool are in with a great shout of lifting European Cup number seven in late May.
Who knows, a Van Dijk-inspired Reds side may even catch Manchester City in the Premier League…