LIVERPOOL, England (AFP) - Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp hailed new signing Virgil van Dijk after the world's most expensive defender scored a late winner against Everton in a dream debut on Friday (Jan 5).
The £75 million (S$135 million) signing from Southampton scored with his head in the 84th minute to give Liverpool a 2-1 win in the third round of the FA Cup at Anfield.
"It was nice that Virgil van Dijk could score in his first game, a brilliant header," said Klopp. "I am really happy.
"In front of the Kop, makes it even better. In Germany we say cup games have different laws and it was like that - there was an extra push from both sides."
"What a night," said the Dutch defender.
"It was thoroughly deserved, it felt amazing to be out there, the goal is very special for me and my family.
"Playing at Anfield for Liverpool is a dream for every player. To score a goal is even more special."
Klopp said the match was not a showcase for the best football, describing it as a "proper fight" between the Merseyside rivals.
The German manager said he did not feel his side deserved a penalty for Mason Holgate's challenge on Adam Lallana in the first half.
"It was a similar situation (to the penalty against Liverpool for Everton last month) - the first one was no penalty in my opinion and this one wasn't also. It's the same. There is contact and the referee used his whistle. Exactly the same situation."