After pundits Micah Richards and Jamie Carragher were praising Van Dijk’s defensive performance, Keane made a blunt response. “That is his job,” Keane said on Sky Sports. “He done it well today and we’re giving him credit but he hasn’t been doing it this season. Before the sport, there was numerous discuss Haaland, his pride would’ve kicked in, you don’t prefer to be criticised and he put a performance in today.”
Liverpool icon Carragher praised the Dutch defender, who made an important interception and headed over the bar before Haaland could latch onto the cross. “He played the sport like he had something to prove,” Carragher said. “I’ve never seen Van Dijk like that the way in which I saw today.
“He was a frontrunner and we said he needed to indicate a few of that today, there was an instance before when he’s sliding to dam a cross – when do you ever see Van Dijk on the ground ever? It just felt like he was going into the sport pondering ‘the world’s watching’ he was using his strength, power. He’s been amazing for five years but I’ve never seen anything like that with the fighting and the battle.”
Mohamed Salah got the one goal of the sport as he latched onto a protracted pass from Alisson by turning Joao Cancelo and finished well past Ederson for his third league goal of the campaign.
Van Dijk was happy with his side that were in a position to put their poor start behind them and claim the win. “It takes quite a bit to get the three points,” Van Dijk told Sky Sports. “It was all the time going to be very intense. First half I believe we played quite well and we didn’t give much away.
“Second half we needed to defend a bit more but we won and that’s crucial thing. For either side it’s numerous running, numerous communication and who wanted it more. We showed numerous fight. If you happen to drop a slight percentage they’ll punish you. It was essential to get the clean sheet.”