Virgil van Dijk's Suggestion for Liverpool's Player of the Match Against Crystal Palace

Virgil van Dijk
Liverpool swept aside Crystal Palace in a dominant performance but Virgil van Dijk disagreed with the fanbase on the game's outstanding player | Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Liverpool were back to their imperious best in the club's second post-lockdown outing, sweeping aside Crystal Palace 4-0 to take one step closer to that long-awaited league title.

After a goalless Merseyside derby, which saw Mohamed Salah and Andy Robertson rested, Jürgen Klopp deployed arguably the strongest side at his disposal. Ten of the 11 who began the battering to which Palace were subjected started last year's Champions League final.

However, the man who missed the European showpiece was the one who stood out among his teammates on Wednesday night - at least in the eyes of Virgil van Dijk.

Liverpool's imperious centre-back suggested his defensive partner Joe Gomez as the night's man of the match, clearly disagreeing with the general consensus of the club's fanbase.

Based on the above poll, and 90min's own player rankings, Gomez's Brazilian teammate Fabinho was more deserving of this particular accolade. In his role as the defensive pivot, Fabinho snuffed out the few attacks a Palace side - blunted by the early injury to Wilfried Zaha - could muster.

Either side of half time Fabinho perfectly weighted a chipped pass onto Salah's chest for the Egyptian to double Liverpool's lead before rifling a laser-straight drive past a helpless Wayne Hennessey to make it 3-0.

Nevertheless, Van Dijk pulled against the tide to laud the display of Gomez - a gesture much appreciated by the 23-year-old.

After one start from Liverpool's first 15 Premier League games, Gomez cemented his place in the side with a run of 12 consecutive appearances in the first-choice XI earlier this season.

Alongside Van Dijk in defence, this run brought 12 wins and a remarkable ten clean sheets, though he did not start the recent Merseyside derby prior to returning to the team against Palace.

Wednesday's convincing win extended Liverpool's lead at the summit to 23 points and added another game to Gomez's personal unbeaten record in the competition. The England international last featured in a Premier League defeat away to Swansea City in January 2018.