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Men's Football Jurgen Klopp 'could write a book' on exquisite Virgil van Dijk

by James Nalton at the Allianz Arena

JURGEN KLOPP believes there is more to come from Virgil van Dijk after Liverpool’s Dutch defender led his side to a memorable 3-1 Champions League win in Munich.

The tie was in the balance following the first-leg stalemate at Anfield, but the visitors ran riot in Bayern’s backyard.

“I could write a book about [Van Dijk’s] skills, strengths, how much I like him, what a fantastic person he is,” said the Liverpool boss.

“So young but so mature, Virgil knows he can play better than he did tonight, and we know we can play better.

“We played, especially in the second half, as good as necessary and as possible.”

Sadio Mane opened the scoring for Klopp’s side, turning Manuel Neuer who was left stranded as he stepped out to deal with the attack, as is his wont.

Van Dijk’s pass to the Senegalese played a big part in the goal, but it was Mane’s touch, turn and strike which brought the game’s first real moment of quality.

Bayern came back into it through a Joel Matip own goal, instigated by lively former Arsenal winger Serge Gnabry.

Once again the Bayern fans used this high-profile fixture to make their feelings known on some issues affecting football fans.

Banners were unfurled at various points during the game protesting against, among other things, Uefa’s ban on standing in European competition, VAR and away ticket prices.

They raised similar issues during the first leg at Anfield, which went down well with the Liverpool fans who are of a similar mindset.

There was much camaraderie between the two sets of fans in the build-up to the game as they filled Munich’s bars and congregated in and around the city’s main square, the Marienplatz.

But Liverpool were not friendly on the pitch, and forced their own game onto Bayern in the second half with goals from Van Dijk and the outstanding Mane sealing the win.

“It’s a difficult place to come,” admitted Klopp. 

“Not many teams have an away win on their cards here. We have that now and that’s cool. Difficult but cool.”

Liverpool join fellow Premier League sides Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur in tomorrow’s quarter-final draw.

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