Jamie Carragher argues that Virgil van Dijk is a better defender than Erling Haaland is striker… and says he 'came out on top' during his Man of the Match performance in Liverpool's 1-1 draw with Man City
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Jamie Carragher argues that Virgil van Dijk is a better defender than Erling Haaland is striker… and says he 'came out on top' during his Man of the Match performance in Liverpool's 1-1 draw with Man City

Mar 29, 2024

Jamie Carragher raved about Virgil van Dijk‘s stellar performance for Liverpool in their 1-1 draw with Manchester City and compared the Dutchman’s positional supremacy to Erling Haaland‘s. 

The Premier League titans played out a thrilling draw at Anfield, as goals from John Stones and Alexis Mac Allister maintained the one-point gap between the sides.

Liverpool were forced into a late change at the back after Ibrahima Konate  sustained an injury in the midweek Europa League win in Prague, meaning youngster Jarell Quansah started alongside the Reds skipper. 

And Carragher believes Van Dijk’s ability to control the defence, not only allowed the 21-year-old to flourish but highlighted his standing among centre-backs worldwide. A quality that sets him apart from Haaland among other strikers.   

‘The great centre-backs don’t just play their own game.’ The former Liverpool defender said on Sky Sports. ‘They control the whole back four. 

Virgil van Dijk restricted Erling Haaland to hardly any chances in front of goal at Anfield

Virgil van Dijk restricted Erling Haaland to hardly any chances in front of goal at Anfield

Jamie Carragher believes that Van Dijk is a better defender than Haaland is striker

Jamie Carragher believes that Van Dijk is a better defender than Haaland is striker

Youngster Jarell Quansah was superb after coming in for the injured Ibrahima Konate

Youngster Jarell Quansah was superb after coming in for the injured Ibrahima Konate

‘Even though Quensah was outstanding he could concentrate on his own game. The greats look after you and that’s why Virgil van Dijk was man of the match. 

‘Haaland is the best centre-forward in the world. For me Van Dijk is right up there in terms of centre-backs. 

‘I actually think Van Dijk is a better centre-back than Haaland is a striker. You think about the battle of the best centre-back vs the best centre forward. Virgil van Dijk came out on top.’

Pep Guardiola’s side had the better of the first half and broke the deadlock from a well-worked corner kick by Kevin De Bruyne that was dispatched by Stones in the 23rd minute. 

The Reds responded after the break and found a route back into the tie when Ederson fouled Darwin Nunez, allowing Mac Allister to put away the resulting spot-kick. 

The clash could be the final meeting of Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola in the Premier League

The clash could be the final meeting of Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola in the Premier League

The result sees Arsenal lead the nail-biting title race ahead of the Reds on goal difference, following their last-gasp win against Brentford on Saturday. 

The Gunners face the daunting task of a trip to the Etihad in their next fixture after the international break later this month. 

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