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Liverpool got instant boost from £75m deal as signing bizarrely announced at half-time


It is four years to the day since Virgil van Dijk fully announced himself as a Liverpool player.

And what better way to repay your £75million transfer fee than by scoring a winning goal against your local rivals.

Much of the talk heading into this FA Cup third-round tie had centred around the Dutch defender, who arrived at Anfield with a huge sense of expectation attached to his hefty price tag.

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Of course, the 30-year-old has proved to everyone in recent years that Liverpool made one of their greatest transfer decisions by bringing him to the club, but not everyone from the outside looking in was sold from the off.

A Merseyside derby is by no means the easiest first game for any new signing, though this action-packed affair offered an early taste of this historic fixture.

Jurgen Klopp’s side drew first blood in the contest in the 35th minute of the match after Mason Holgate brought Adam Lallana down inside the area, resulting in a penalty kick being awarded.

It was James Milner who stepped up from the spot and he made no mistake from 12-yards, sending Jordan Pickford the wrong way with his effort.



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Having been involved in the penalty incident, Holgate was again at the heart of things when pushing Roberto Firmino into the stands.

This provoked a strong reaction from the Reds’ forward, with the pair needing to be separated before the game got back underway.

Everton, coached by Sam Allardyce at the time, did find a way back into the match after the interval and managed to grab an equaliser in the 67th minute.

Sparking a counter-attack from a Liverpool corner, the Blues ended the move with Gylfi Sigurdsson beating Loris Karius with a shot into the bottom right corner of the goal, sending the away supporters behind the goal into raptures.

But it was the hosts who would have the last laugh in this cup tie, striking six minutes from time to send their Merseyside neighbours packing from the competition.

An Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain corner was met by Van Dijk, who guided the ball past Pickford and into the back of the net for a late winner in front of the Kop on debut.

The Reds’ £75million purchase stole all the headlines with his header, overshadowing many of the other talking points from the tie.

One of the interesting moments connected to this contest that is often forgotten as a result is Everton’s transfer announcement of striker Cenk Tosun, which was delivered at half-time in the match.

Certainly an unorthodox time to inform supporters of a new arrival, it’s safe to say that Liverpool’s January capture has enjoyed the more successful period on Merseyside.





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