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Van Dijk Pleased With Liverpool Debut

09 January 2018

Virgil van Dijk became an instant favorite at Liverpool by marking his debut with a late goal to clinch a 2-1 win over local rival Everton in the third round of the FA Cup on Friday.

His headed goal off of an Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain corner kick in the 84th minute sent Anfield into an absolute delirium, instantaneously cementing himself into Liverpool folklore; you simply could not have written a better script for the Dutch worldwide on his debut.

In that sense, what his goal here delivered was not simply a derby victory - though that, of course, was of the greatest and most immediate significance to Liverpool - and progression to the fourth round of the F.A. Cup, but time. "To score a goal is even more special".

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In a typically high-octane derby, Wayne Rooney picked up an early booking for a crude tackle on Joe Gomez and was substituted in the 52nd for his own good, moments after escaping a second yellow card for shoving Emre Can.

James Milner put Liverpool ahead in the 35th minute by converting a contentiously awarded penalty. After a flare-up on the touchline, Firmino reacted angrily to being pushed into an advertising hoarding and shouted something at Holgate.

A swift counter-attacking move saw Everton get an unlikely equaliser through Gylfi Sigurdsson after the interval.

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Photo Referee Bobby Madley steps between Liverpool's Roberto Firmino, right, and Everton's Mason Holgate.

Milner made no mistake with the spot-kick as he dispatched the ball past Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford with confidence.

Whether Van Dijk possesses those qualities in sufficient quantity to eliminate Liverpool's capacity for panic remains to be seen; it will take a season, maybe more, to establish whether he can do what Klopp believes he can.

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Van Dijk Pleased With Liverpool Debut