Klopp hails Van Dijk; says he knew what Palace were about after warm-up

Date published: Tuesday 21st August 2018 7:41

Virgil van Dijk TEAMtalk

Virgil van Dijk earned the praise of Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp following his stellar performance in the 2-0 Premier League win at Crystal Palace.

The Dutch defender marshalled his side’s defence superbly in a testing encounter at Selhurst Park, which the Reds won thanks to a James Milner penalty and Sadio Mane’s late second.

Palace put on a positive showing, especially as they ended the game with 10 men following Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s red card.

But the £75million defender ensured Liverpool kept a clean sheet.

“Virgil’s performance was really, really good,” Klopp added. “Quality costs a specific price. Cars are like that. Lots of things are like that. Players too.

“Nobody thinks about that now, which is good. In this market at the moment, he’s at least worth it.”

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson is happy to be treated as a “pariah” after insisting that Liverpool should not have been awarded their penalty.

The Reds were awarded a spot-kick on the stroke of half-time when Mohamed Salah went down under a clumsy challenge from Mamadou Sakho.

Milner converted from 12 yards and then Mane made the game safe in stoppage time with a breakaway goal.

Michael Oliver’s decision to award the penalty seemed generous, but Hodgson was strong in his condemnation.

Jurgen Klopp claimed not to see the penalty incident but was pleased his side came through a tough assignment in south London.

“I thought we could have done better, but we expected Palace to be that strong,” he said.

“They were clear in their approach against us, playing the big number of long balls. I saw that in the warm-up from (Wayne) Hennessey and thought, ‘Wow, it’s going to be really difficult’.

“Defensively it was absolutely OK. The rhythm and timing was not good offensively, both full-backs need to open up their game a bit.

“I have no idea on the penalty, I can’t say more. Milly scored in the best minute of the first half.”

 

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