Virgil van Dijk: Why Liverpool FC are so good at defending
PFA player of the year Virgil van Dijk opens up about Liverpool FC's defensive success this season
Virgil van Dijk believes that the secret behind Liverpool FC’s defensive success this season is the team’s ability to work altogether.
The Netherlands international – who has scored three goals and made two assists in 36 Premier League games this term – was crowned the PFA player of the year on Sunday night to cap a brilliant first full season at Liverpool FC for Van Dijk.
The club record signing has helped to transform the inconsistent Liverpool FC defence into the best in the Premier League in less than 18 months at the Merseyside outfit.
Van Dijk has managed to bring out the best in his defensive colleagues, while the Dutch defender has helped Alisson Becker to settle in his first season in the Premier League.
Title challengers Liverpool FC have only conceded 20 times in 36 games in the Premier League this term, which is the best defensive record in the division.
Alisson has become just the fifth goalkeeper to keep 20 clean sheets in a Premier League season, joining Peter Schmeichel, Edwin van der Sar, Petr Cech and Pepe Reina at notching up the impressive feat.
Speaking to Liverpool FC’s website after winning the PFA player of the year award, Van Dijk spoke about the reasons for their defensive success this season.
“I think the key is that the way we defend is to do it altogether,” Van Dijk said.
“Defending starts up front. How our strikers put pressure on defenders is unbelievable, I don’t want to be put under pressure by those kinds of players.
“And even if they beat that press, we still have a midfield that keeps hunting you down at all times.
“It makes it a lot easier for us as a back four, with the goalkeeper, to [not] be under pressure. But if we’re under pressure we still need to deal with it and I think that’s been going pretty well as well.”
Liverpool FC are sitting in second place and a point behind Manchester City in the Premier League title race.
The Reds will face Newcastle United at St James’ Park next weekend.