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Sport Klopp proud of Liverpool form amid Van Dijk absence

20:05  26 october  2020
20:05  26 october  2020 Source:   msn.com

Pickford's killer tackle on Van Dijk (video)

 Pickford's killer tackle on Van Dijk (video) © Supplied by Sports.fr Jordan Pickford and Virgil van Dijk Everton's goalkeeper Jordan Pickford literally assaulted Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk this Saturday as part of the 5th day of the Premier League. Pillar of the defense of the Reds, Virgil Van Dijk had to leave his partners prematurely this Saturday in the middle of the Mersey derby. From the 11th Gallery: Payet, Di Maria, Mandanda ...

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has praised his team for their form without Virgil van Dijk.

a man standing in front of a crowd: Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp © Kenzo Tribouillard Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp

The Premier League champions managed to beat both Dutch giants Ajax and Sheffield United last week despite missing star central defender van Dijk, who is set to be sidelined for several months recovering from knee surgery following a brutal challenge by Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford during the Merseyside derby on October 17.

a man standing in front of a crowd: 'Best in the world' - Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk © Catherine Ivill 'Best in the world' - Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk

Fabinho, a midfielder, has found himself covering for the Dutchman alongside Joe Gomez and Klopp believes Liverpool are getting by as well as could be hoped in the absence of the "best defender in the world."

Cut out by Pickford, Van Dijk seriously injured!

 Cut out by Pickford, Van Dijk seriously injured! © Supplied by Sports.fr Van Dijk Victim of a murderous tackle from Jordan Pickford during the derby between Everton and Liverpool (2-2), on Saturday, Virgil Van Dijk would suffer from a rupture of the cruciate ligaments of the knee. Beyond the disappointment of having conceded the draw in the last minutes of the Mersey derby (2-2), Saturday afternoon on behalf of Day 5 of the Premier League , the Reds had the bad luck losing their captain Virgil Van Dijk very early in the game.

"Every team in the world would miss Virgil van Dijk," said Klopp on Monday during his pre-match press conference ahead of Liverpool's Champions League group match at home to Midtjylland.

- 'Best in the world' -

"He is the best in the world. You play a game, he gets injured, and you play three days later so of course that's difficult to do because all the boys played together with him and we didn't have long for them to get used to playing without him."

The Reds boss added: "Fabinho, who normally plays as a six, has had to come in and play with Joe. For that we did pretty well and that will get better 100 percent because unfortunately everything in life takes time and defending takes time.

"They all played with Virgil at some point but not many times did they play together with each other so we do not expect perfection -- but not too far away from perfection.

Van Dijk shock for Liverpool: consoling teammates - Dutchman makes statement

 Van Dijk shock for Liverpool: consoling teammates - Dutchman makes statement Virgil van Dijk has to undergo knee surgery. The defense chief of Liverpool FC has probably been seriously injured and is out for a long time. There are tons of encouraging words from fans and teammates. The Dutchman himself makes a statement - and looks to the future with optimism.

"Everyone needs time to replace a massive person or player, Virgil is the best defender in the world and so far we've done pretty well."

Tuesday's Group D match at Anfield sees six-time European kings Liverpool, who will also be without the injured trio of Joel Matip, Naby Keita and Thiago Alcantara, up against Champions League newcomers Midtjylland, who made their tournament debut during a 4-0 home defeat by Atalanta last week.

Danish club Midtjylland were only founded in 1999 but Klopp downplayed suggestions of a 'David against Goliath' fixture.

"We don't see Midtjylland as a small club, we see Midtjylland as a proper challenger in this group," he said.

"No-one is part of the Champions League because they are nice cities, they are in the Champions League because they earned the right the year before."

"There are no small teams in the Champions League, there are only teams who show how big they are on the pitch, not in the press conferences before games.

"The 4-0 against Atalanta was not a 4-0 - it was because the score was 4-0 but Midtjylland were in the game. Tomorrow it will be a real challenge and we have to be ready for it, and we will try to be."

jdg/nr

Van Dijk's knee surgery a success: Liverpool .
Virgil van Dijk has undergone successful knee surgery and will begin rehabilitation, Premier League champions Liverpool said on Friday. "Virgil van Dijk has undergone surgery on the knee ligament injury he sustained earlier this month," read a club statement.The club did not say for how long the 29-year-old central defender would be out.

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