Virgil van Dijk equals Premier League record on the final day of the season


Virgil van Dijk became just the fifth player to play every minute of a Premier League season for a title winning side.

The Dutchman has been a rock at the back for Liverpool as they returned to the summit of English football for the first time in 30 years.

Jurgen Klopp’s side ended the season with the best defensive record in the league for a second straight year.

Cesar Azpilicueta and Wes Morgan also completed the feat in successive years for Chelsea and Leicester respectively.

John Terry did so in Jose Mourinho’s first title winning season at Stamford Bridge in 2004/05.

Virgil van Dijk scored on the final day

Manchester United’s Gary Pallister did so when they won the first ever Premier League title in 1992/93.

And Van Dijk has now made it a five person club following his efforts this season.

The 29-year-old has had several partners in central defence with Klopp chopping and changing between the likes of Joe Gomez and Joel Matip.

But Van Dijk, who has more than justified his hefty fee, has been the rock at the heart of Liverpool’s back four.

The ambition for the entire Merseyside outfit will be to retain their crown next term.

And despite their dominance over the past 12 months the Dutchman doesn’t foresee a lack of motivation being a problem.

John Terry and Cesar Azpilicueta both managed to play every minute

He said: “It was not too difficult [to motivate ourselves]. We all wanted to show why we’re the champions. We knew it would be tough.

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“We made it even more difficult for ourselves but we played well in the second half. It’s good to finish the season on a high and now for a little break.

“It was an outstanding game in the second half. We played amazing football, and created chances. A well deserved win.

“Hopefully we’ll be fresh and ready to go for next season in a couple of weeks.

“For this beautiful club it’s [their season] outstanding and should spur us to retain the title. It will be tough. Teams will improve and they’ll want to beat us more.

“We’ll focus on each game at a time as we did this season. It will be a new challenge.”





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