Martin Keown: Van Dijk disarmed this Liverpool player in defeat to Southampton
By Amir Mir
Martin Keown believes Virgil Van Dijk disarmed Daniel Sturridge as Southampton beat Liverpool 1-0 in the first leg of the semi-final of the EFL Cup on Wednesday night.
Striker Sturridge played the full match at St Mary’s as Claude Puel’s side take a slight advantage going into the second leg at Anfield on January 25.
Dutchman van Dijk was a powerful presence throughout the game as he helped his team secure a much-needed clean sheet.
Despite his team having most of the possession, Sturridge was unable to cause any problems to the opposition defence as van Dijk calmly dealt with his threat.
Former Arsenal centre-back Keown appreciated the performance from his the highly-rated Saints man.
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“Sturridge was bullied a little bit by Virgil van Dijk last night at Southampton,” Keown told the Daily Mail. “The defender showed why people are queuing up to sign him!
“Van Dijk disarmed someone with great ability and good pace. You take those attributes away from Sturridge and he looks quite ordinary.
“Sturridge is a player who offers moments of magic amid lots of inconsistency. That isn’t going to change — but in Jurgen Klopp, Sturridge has a manager who will not tire of him.”
Jurgen Klopp’s side will be bidding to reach the final of the League Cup for the second consecutive season.
They lost out to Manchester City on penalties during Klopp’s debut season in charge of the Merseyside club.
Manchester United and Hull City are the other two remaining teams in the competition, with Jose Mourinho’s side recording a 2-0 win over the Tigers in the first leg at Old Trafford on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the Reds will turn their attention to Premier League matters at the weekend where they face United at Old Trafford on Sunday.
In other Liverpool news, Jamie Redknapp believes this is what the Reds are missing.