‘What a performance, what a player’: Micah Richards was blown away ‘just watching’ Liverpool star against Man City

Micah Richards was blown away by Virgil van Dijk’s display at the Etihad as he showed his class in Liverpool’s 2-2 stalemate with Manchester City.

According to WhoScored, he recorded an 88% pass accuracy from 59 passes, won 100% of his aerial duels, made 3 interceptions and won 5/5 tackles.

It was a game that the Dutchman was unable to grab ahold of as Liverpool’s midfield battled to get a stranglehold on the game which had a lot to do with Manchester City’s perfect tactical setup.

Fabinho and Phil Foden

Jurgen Klopp watched on from the sidelines as Pep Guardiola doubled up on his fullbacks, pinning them back and preventing the Reds from counter-attacking freely.

For van Dijk, this was an issue as he often battled to find a way to play out from the back whenever Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold were pinned back by either Phil Foden or Gabriel Jesus.

Micah Richards, however, was hugely impressed by the Dutch international, saying watching him live is “something else”.

Speaking on The Monday Night Club on BBC 5 Live Sport, he said: “Van Dijk! Van Dijk just gets back into position so early.

Virgil van Dijk and Gabriel Jesus and Alisson Becker

“He’s always in the right position. Matip goes on his mazy runs and for some reason, van Dijk’s just there.

“Watching van Dijk live, honestly, he is something else! How he gets into position, he just sort of just strolls like a Rolls-Royce into position.

“He’s never sweating, he’s never got a sweat on his face. Honestly, what a performance, just watching him and his positioning and playing the high line, wow, what a player!”

Liverpool are truly blessed to have a player like van Dijk and it’s a sign of how good he’s been for the Reds that the £75m paid to sign him.

Virgil van Dijk and Gabriel Jesus

Klopp is going to rely on van Dijk’s form over the next couple of months to help Liverpool fight for trophies but the Dutchman is going to need his defensive teammates to concentrate and cut out the mistakes.

Fabinho and Jordan Henderson were both sleeping in midfield for Kevin De Bruyne’s opener on Sunday. It was an entirely preventable goal even if Alisson was blindsided by the massive deflection the shot took.

Meanwhile, Joel Matip played Gabriel Jesus onside for the second goal but Trent Alexander-Arnold needed to be far more aware and persistent with his marking.

Liverpool won’t win anymore silverware this season if their concentration isn’t at 100% in the big games and teams like Manchester City will punish them.

Michael Mongie
Football Central Media Group founder, owner and editor.

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