ULTIMATE POWER: Virgil van Dijk’s Wembley heroics catapult him up Dream Team rankings – no defender has scored more goals this season

Even though LIVERPOOL’s Carabao Cup winning team had a number of youths, the game-winning goal came from their seasoned skipper.

Virgil van Dijk secures his Liverpool 'legacy moment' after joining  exclusive club with Carabao Cup final performance | The Sun

Wembley was spared the nerve-wracking anguish of a penalty shootout and the seventh major honour of the Jurgen Klopp era was secured when Virgil van Dijk (£3.9m) flicked a corner into the far corner in the 118th minute.

With a commanding header from a wide free-kick, the 32-year-old centre back looked to have put the Reds ahead in regular time, but the goal was ruled offside by video assistant referees.

Without a question, if Chelsea had won the game on penalties, that call would have been a huge bone of contention. Fortunately, Van Dijk miraculously repeated the trick just in time to win it for Liverpool and send their fans home satisfied.


The Dutchman’s destructive set-piece threat was on full display in Sunday’s championship match.

Actually, in his last seven games, he has scored three goals.

His ascent in the Dream Team ranks is a natural consequence of his recent profitable streak.

Van Dijk has increased his point total for the season to 162, putting him four points behind third-place Gabriel (£4.1m) and fourth overall.

At the end of the day at Wembley, Van Dijk had his second-best result from a single game this season with 15 points.

He has been the most productive defender for Dream Team recently, averaging 9.7 points per game in his past three games.

Along with Fabian Schar (£3.4m), Dan Burn (£3.3m), and Lewis Dunk (£2.8m), Van Dijk has four goals, which is the joint-highest total among players in his position thus far.

It is not surprising that Liverpool’s No. 4 is now considered one of the best in the Dream Team given his offensive danger and his nine clean sheets. The only regulars from Everton and Arsenal who have contributed more to more clean sheets.

CentreGoals. on X: "| Liverpool are 𝐔𝐍𝐃𝐄𝐅𝐄𝐀𝐓𝐄𝐃 in 15 straight  domestic cup matches when Virgil van Dijk plays for them   https://t.co/oOQMf6tcJa" / X

A total of six defenders have scored more bonus points than him as of this writing, surpassing his 21 total.

Van Dijk’s recent success has been beneficial to several Dream Team managers.

With a 23.8% ownership percentage, he ranks as the 12th most popular player overall and the 4th most selected player in his position.

Going forward, it would not be surprising if Van Dijk sits out midweek’s match against Southampton, his former club. Klopp is expected to prioritise the Premier League above the FA Cup, especially now that his injury-plagued team has won a domestic cup.

Football Tweet  on X: "Is Virgil Van Dijk in the top 3 Premier League  centre-backs of all time?  https://t.co/pbGVNdOlUR" / X

More favourable results for Van Dijk could be on the horizon in Gameweek 26, as Liverpool take on Sparta Prague and Nottingham Forest in a double header.

But Klopp only gave Liverpool’s captain 90 minutes of playing time during the Europa League group stage; would he give him more time in the knockout stage?

Van Dijk, who has reclaimed his position as one of Europe’s top defenders, is a tempting option for coaches at the moment, but they should keep a careful eye on his playing time to be sure.

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