Liverpool 2 Everton 1: Virgil Van Dijk Scores Winner On Debut

Liverpool 2 Everton 1: Virgil Van Dijk Scores Winner On Debut

Liverpool 2 Everton 1: Virgil Van Dijk Scores Winner On Debut

The former Southampton star, who this month became the world's most expensive defender, headed in the victor six minutes from time on a night not short on controversy at Anfield.

Still, very few Liverpool fans seemed too concerned with his price tag in the moments following his victor. His every header was cheered, his every pass judged, his movement analyzed and assessed.

Jurgen Klopp has lauded the set-piece quality of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, as his dead-ball delivery again proved key in the 2-1 win over Everton.

Nearly as recompense for the penalty decision in the league not too long ago in this fixture, referee Bobby Madley blew up as Mason Holgate somewhat tentatively glanced Adam Lallana.

Klopp sees Van Dijk as not just an imposing aerial barrier - he headed clear a dozen, if not more, booming goal kicks from Everton's Jordan Pickford - but as a vocal guide, an organizer, and a leader, something the club's defense has lacked since the retirement of Jamie Carragher in 2013. A clearly unhappy Firmino vaulted back onto the field and sprinted toward Holgate, swearing in Portuguese, and was lucky that referee Bobby Madley stepped in between them to intervene.

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Holgate's head was scrambled and five minutes later, after losing possession, he shoved Firmino into the front row of the Main Stand.

Van Dijk had the final say, though.

Liverpool made it 16 Merseyside derbies unbeaten on Friday evening, as they got the better of their locals in thrilling fashion in the FA Cup third round.

The morning's headlines will be about Van Dijk, not about how much he cost, or how much of a risk he represents, but about the most flawless introduction he could have asked for.

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