For Van Dijk and Liverpool, a Winning Start

Posted January 09, 2018

Everton barely threatened in the first half but was much more risky after the break, equalizing through Gylfi Sigurdsson after a counterattack following a Liverpool corner.

Except for those few seconds, after 84 minutes, when he wandered up for a corner, rose to meet Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's cross, and ended his first appearance for Liverpool, his first appearance as a record-breaker, with the winning goal in a 2-1 victory against Everton.

The atmosphere in the stands crackled and on the pitch it was equally feisty.

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Virgil van Dijk, who joined Liverpool from Southampton in the January transfer window, scored in the Merseyside derby.

The defensive stability he provided, especially in his first match in Liverpool's starting eleven, was quite an encouraging look into what the future holds for the Reds. Gylfi Sigurdsson then equalized for the visitors.

Milner made no mistake with the spot-kick as he dispatched the ball past Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford with confidence. "It's the same. There is contact and the referee used his whistle".

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Holgate took serious offence to something the Anfield ace shouted at him - after pushing Firmino over the advertising board and into the crowd.

Long before Van Dijk's 84th-minute goal, there was an ugly flashpoint between Mason Holgate, the Everton defender, and Roberto Firmino, the Liverpool forward.

Liverpool hasn't lost to Everton in 16 matches - a club record - and Everton's winless run at the home of its great rival extended to 21 games, dating back to 1999. Ademola Lookman, Rooney's replacement, fed Phil Jagielka and the center back showed composure to lay the ball back for Sigurdsson to stroke home a finish from the edge of the area.

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The Reds progressed to the fourth round of the competition after Virgil van Dijk headed a victor on his debut.