Van Dijk, who became the world's most expensive defender when he signed from Southampton last January for what now seems a bargain, at £75 million, quite simply makes his teammates better when he plays.
Sadio Mane has been on fire for Liverpool off late both domestically and in continental competitions and have scored 10 goals from his last 10 games for the Reds. "The first goal was ridiculous really, how he finished it off, the calmness and the finish", Milner told reporters.
GETTY IMAGESVirgil van Dijk outjleaps the Bayern defence to head in Liverpool's second goal from James Milner's cross
The 27-year-old was imperious in defence, too. I felt yourself [Van Dijk] but also Matip, he gets the own goal in the first half - it wasn't a mistake it's just one of those things - I thought he was outstanding as well at the back.
"You need to give him so much respect, he's a fantastic striker", Van Dijk said. Whilst Liverpool failed to keep a clean sheet, he nullified Bundesliga's top scorer Robert Lewandowski. Hummels reads the game well, but his lack of pace is his and Bayern's Achilles' heel, while Sule is strong and athletic but cumbersome with the ball at his feet.
Although some pointed out that each of the teams are managed by different nationalities - with Argentinian Mauricio Pochettino at Spurs, Norway's Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at United, Germany's Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool, and Spain's Pep Guardiola at City - and not to mention a mass of foreign players in the ranks. You saw a set-piece can be decisive in a match like this. Maybe we were trying to play defensive and trying to score goals and maybe that was wrong and today Liverpool were better.
FC Barcelona haven't only qualified for the quarter finals of the Champions League but, in the contest against Lyon, broke another record in Europe's top tier competition. But if they do go all the way in the Champions League, nobody will be more important to them than Van Dijk.
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