Niko Kovac makes honest admission after Reds' Bayern Munich win

Tanya Simon
March 14, 2019

" We will see what we can do with it but it's still fantastic for us that LFC as a club, we really are back for the last games of worldwide top football". "The other 25 percent is covered by Virgil van Dijk".

"But Virg knows he can play better and that we can play better than we did [in Munich]". Virgil Van Dijk is still in his first full season at the club but what a season it has been.

The 27-year-old was imperious in defence, too.

"It's a really big night, not only for Liverpool but I think for England", said midfielder Wijnaldum.

Some might argue that Mane or Mohamed Salah are more likely to be Liverpool's match-winners in their quest to win a sixth European Cup this season, but Van Dijk is the player who provides the platform for the forwards to perform, and that is why he is becoming as important to Liverpool as Ronaldo is to Juventus (and was to Real Madrid) and Messi is to Barcelona.

The Bavarians, who had reached the Champions League quarter-finals or better in each of the last seven seasons, needed a second with Liverpool heading through on the away goals rule.

Liverpool FC
Image Liverpool FC via Getty Images

His quality shined even more in contrast to Bayern's defensive pairing of Mats Hummels and Niklas Sule.

Despite starting on the bench for the Champions League clash against Bayern Munich, the Brazilian player soon had the responsibility of replacing club captain Jordan Henderson, and did a good job even with all the pressure on the game.

"It was brilliant", he said when asked about Van Dijk's performance, per Goal. "And we are strong there".

He provided the assist to Mane's opener and was also able to grab Liverpool's second goal on the night, which effectively ended the tie. "He is still young enough to get better".

"There's going to be many times in the Champions League you'll come up against world-class strikers, and he's the player you need to put them to sleep".

So, English football is back, capped by Liverpool's victory in Munich on Wednesday night, but is the Premier League ready, once again, to dominate the Champions League?

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