Mohamed Salah’s name always finds itself on the scoreboard and it was again the case on Sunday, twice over, but while the Egyptian may make the headlines, his captain was as worthy of praise.
The Dutchman was far from the incredible high standards he has set for himself last season, but with the armband and a fresh start, he has turned back the clock and it’s not been lost on supporters.
Brentford carved out opportunities but Van Dijk was consistently there, winning the most duels of any player on the pitch (nine) and was tidy with his disposals – ending the match a 90 percent passing accuracy.
There’s still more to come from Van Dijk, but his start to the campaign has been mightily impressive, and his outing on a day where a win and a clean sheet were invaluable, attracted attention.
Van Dijk looks imperious again this term, and *shock* his comeback has coincided with the players ahead of him actually being able to run.
— Josh Williams (@DistanceCovered) November 12, 2023
Virgil Van Dijk is making everything look dead easy again. Utterly dominant against Brentford today.
Passes 54/60 (90%)
Accurate long balls 10/10 (100%)
Ground duels 4/5 (80%)
Aerial duels 5/6 (83%) pic.twitter.com/I8i5fFkgtc
— Sam McGuire (@SamMcGuire90) November 12, 2023
Outstanding win Van Dijk has been excellent to the start the season. Great again today. Nice way to go into the International break
— keith costigan (@KeithCostigan) November 12, 2023
Van Dijk will never get back to his prime but he's still sensational and one of the very very best in the world.
— Viktor Fagerström (@ViktorFagerLFC) November 12, 2023
Very pertinent moment for Van Dijk. Remember he lost out in a foot race vs Mbeumo away at Brentford last season. Mbeumo had a head-start and VVD dominated him this time, crucial intervention at 1-0. Imperious start to the season.
— Raj Chohan (@rajsinghchohan) November 12, 2023
If it was ever in doubt, Van Dijk is well and truly back.
— Rory Greenfield (@RoryGreenfield) November 12, 2023
Van Dijk incredible today. Honestly, if it's any other CB in the league, MNF, MOTD etc are doing loads of anaylsis on him.
It's just because we're used to it. After a below-par season because of the team's struggles, he is back to his very best.
Ignore the nonsense narrative.
— Henry Jackson (@HenryJackson87) November 12, 2023
“Virgil Van Dijk looking like a man on a mission, scary how strong fast and his ability to dominate in the air, at times it seems like he’s a ball magnet.”
– Paulo de sousa in TIA comments.
Van Dijk is still the best in the world and it’s not even remotely close
— Chambo (@davidc98) November 12, 2023
Van Dijk absolutely imperious today.
— Joel Rabinowitz (@joel_archie) November 12, 2023
Virgil van Dijk is slowly getting back to some of the form that saw him claim the best defender in the world tagline. Really looking solid.
Needs to be looked after rather than play every single minute. pic.twitter.com/vPOdt9VoUE
— GaGs (@GagsTandon) November 12, 2023
The best thing about Virgil van Dijk’s return to form is he’s now back to shooting looks of absolute disdain to anyone who tries to take him on.
— Beth Lindop (@beth_lindop) November 12, 2023
The 32-year-old is imperative to anything Liverpool hope to achieve this season and a Van Dijk full of confidence and at his best is priceless for the Reds.
His minutes have, rightly, been carefully managed and we will all be left anxiously waiting for him to return from international duty fit and healthy and ready for Man City first up.