April 28, 2022 – Liverpool’s performance in the first semi-final of the Champions League against Villarreal has garnered praise in England. Analysts Rio Ferdinand and Michael Owen, among others, were particularly impressed by the dominance of The Reds†Ferdinand also saw a role for “Lieutenant” Virgil van Dijk.
“This is the best Liverpool I’ve seen,” said Ferdinand BT sport† “They’re relentless, both with and without the ball. The way they put pressure on teams, the energy they’re able to put into their game… It’s just mind-blowing.” So did tablemate Michael Owen. “It was total dominance. For me, this is also the best Liverpool I’ve ever seen. They’re everywhere. Villarreal walked off the pitch thinking: what happened here? It’s just impossible to find an answer to this urge.”
There’s also a role for Virgil van Dijk, Ferdinand said, as one of the four leaders of “the best Liverpool ever”. He named him the four ‘lieutenants’ of Jurgen Klopp’s squad along with Jordan Henderson, Andy Robertson and (‘maybe’) Trent Alexander-Arnold. “You have to save the team from laziness before the return. That’s the only thing that can trip her up.”
Against Villarreal, Van Dijk was partially responsible for Villarreal not being able to get a single shot on target. Sky Sports† The guard and The Daily Mail All three gave his performance a 7. “The star Dutch defender rarely got into trouble along with the rest of the Liverpool defence, where the visitors retreated deep into their own half,” explained the latter medium.