Statistics don’t always tell the whole story but David Luiz has a right to point to them when he turns up at Anfield with new club Arsenal still being billed as the Premier League’s defensive comedy routine up against the country’s best centre-back, Virgil van Dijk.
Lost, amid the sublime composure of £75 million Virgil van Dijk, the fan-pleasing marauding runs of full-backs Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson and the promise of Joe Gomez, stands Joel Matip, the forgotten centre-half who may have as big a say in tomorrow’s Champions League Final as any Liverpool star.
As acts of vindication go, Jordan Pickford’s game-saving block to deny Mohamed Salah as the prolific Liverpool forward looked poised to open the scoring in the first half of a tense Merseyside derby was up there with the best of the Premier League this season.
Even at a club where there are many great European nights to choose from, this feels a bit special. Liverpool’s match against Napoli tonight, for a place in the Champions League knockout stages, has the potential to be one of those great occasions that will be talked about for years.