Football News: Virgil van Dijk makes feelings clear to Fabio Carvalho with ruthless dressing down

While Mohamed Salah's remarkable cameo and the fastest hat-trick in Champions League history stole the show, Liverpool had to endure a tricky hour against Rangers and, in need of a steadying influence, the centre back stepped up


In the end it was a stroll in which Mohamed Salah provided an emphatic response to being dropped to the bench by scoring a hat-trick in six minutes and 12 seconds, the quickest in Champions League history, but for about an hour at Ibrox tonight Liverpool were less than comfortable.


Roberto Firmino may have provided the visitors’ first couple of goals before Darwin Nunez broke Rangers’ resolve and Salah ruthlessly capitalised on their hosts falling to pieces. Harvey Elliott, following a lengthy VAR check, added a seventh.


Yet it cannot be ignored that there were some sticky moments as Jurgen Klopp’s team conceded first once again.


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So on a night in which Rangers knew a win was required to keep their hopes of progress alive, Liverpool needed a leader, someone to steady a ship that was swaying.


That is when Virgil van Dijk, whose stock has plummeted as much as anyone during Liverpool’s sticky start to the season, stepped up.


It was perhaps most evident during a moment late in the first half when he reminded Fabio Carvalho, the 21-year-old given a first start in this competition, of the need to be strong against an opponent packed with predictable fight and determination.


Carvalho had been muscled off the ball far too easily by Antonio-Mirko Colak for the move that led to Rangers’ goal, though questions may also be asked of the space allowed to Scott Arfield by Ibrahima Konate.


One soft dispossession was bad enough but when it happened on a second occasion in the 41st minute, Van Dijk was incensed by the Portuguese's lack of fight.


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Virgil van Dijk was furious with Carvalho (Image: Getty Images)

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This time John Lundstram, who came through Everton ’s academy, nicked the ball from Carvalho’s toe but, fortunately for Liverpool, Rangers' drive forward ended with a corner that was dealt with comfortably.


Before it could be taken, though, Van Dijk felt the need to give his young team-mate a reminder: beating his own chest and barking orders. From the back of Ibrox’s main stand it was impossible to understand the Netherlands international’s exact words but the gist was obvious.


Van Dijk is the only Liverpool player to have been on the pitch for every minute of action so far this season and for all the questions around his own form it is important not to overlook the shuffling around him.


Tonight Konate slotted alongside him, making his first start of a campaign having being sprung from the bench for the final 21 minutes at Arsenal on Sunday. Joe Gomez, lining out on the right instead of Trent Alexander-Arnold here, had partnered Van Dijk on five occasions while Joel Matip, out for a couple of weeks after twinging a calf in north London,


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Even on the left there has been some change as Kostas Tsimakis has filled in for Andy Robertson, who returned for the concluding 23 minutes tonight following a knee injury, for the past month.


So among all that change he has carried on, absorbing the doubts around his individual form while the chemistry of a previously settled back four has been altered game by game.


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Mo Salah celebrates at Ibrox. (Image: PA)

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“Of course I don’t shy away from [responsibility],” Van Dijk said after the Arsenal game. “I am not perfect, not at all. I’ve had some praise in the last few years and that’s all fine, but I have always mentioned that I am not the only one there for success. We are all there together.”


There had been an extra layer of meaning to this game for Van Dijk, of course, even if it took about 10 minutes for the home crowd to remember that he previously represented the enemy. His initial touches had gone by without much response but the boos became more audible as the opening half progressed.


But, like Liverpool, this was Van Dijk’s first time at Ibrox. His only appearance against Rangers in green and white hoops had come in a League Cup tie at Celtic Park during that period when the reigning Scottish champions did not even have their neighbours to challenge their domestic dominance.


 

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Post credits: https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/virgil-van-dijk-liverpool-rangers-28225118

Repost: footballnews.footballmamak.com/virgil-van-dijk-makes-feelings-clear-to-fabio-carvalho-with-ruthless-dressing-down

Date: 13/10/2022

Location: Malaysia

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