Virgil van Dijk made a dream start to his Anfield career, scoring the winning goal on his debut for Liverpool, as they beat city rivals Everton 2-1 in their FA Cup third round tie on Friday (Jan 5).
Virgil van Dijk scored a dramatic late winner on his Liverpool debut to secure a 2-1 win over Merseyside rivals Everton in the third round of the FA Cup. The £75m defender headed home in the 85th minute to a thunderous ovation around Anfield as Liverpool extended their unbeaten derby run to 16 matches.
James Milner had given Liverpool the lead in the 35th minute when he converted from the penalty spot after Mason Holgate fouled Adam Lallana. Everton, who announced the signing of Cenk Tosun at half-time, levelled after a brilliant counter-attack was finished by Gylfi Sigurdsson in the 67th minute, but Van Dijk stole the show with his late winner.
The goal was Van Dijk's first in any competition since scoring in last season's FA Cup third round for Southampton, and starts to repay the huge transfer fee that Liverpool paid for the defender this month. While the Reds dominated the Premier League meeting between these sides a month ago, on this occasion Everton showed more ambition and matched their hosts in an even first half.
Still, there was little goalmouth action at either end, with Milner going closest when he volleyed wide in the 26th minute from Joe Gomez's crossfield pass.
It was Milner who broke the deadlock from the penalty spot after Holgate was penalised for grabbing Lallana. Holgate was involved in another flashpoint towards the end of the first half when he shoved Roberto Firmino into the stands and the pair both reacted angrily.
Liverpool took more control of the game after half-time but Joe Gomez and Van Dijk both missed good headed chances. And, just as they were a month ago, it looked like the Reds might rue their missed chances as Sigurdsson finished off a swift counter from a corner with a composed finish from the edge of the box.