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Liverpool news: Nicolas Pepe dribbles past Virgil van Dijk, breaks defender's 50 game streak

ANALYST
News
25 Aug 2019, 22:26 IST

/Liverpool FC v Arsenal FC - Premier League
/Liverpool FC v Arsenal FC - Premier League

What's the story?

Arsenal's record signing Nicolas Pepe is leaving a good account of himself just three games into his Premier League career. In his latest outing for the Gunners against Liverpool, he became the first player in 50 games to dribble past Liverpool's PFA Player of the Year, Virgil van Dijk.

In case you didn't know...

Van Dijk enjoyed a 50 game run in which he did not allow even a single player to dribble past him. This is a testament to van Dijk's undisputed quality a how much the Dutchman has evolved as a player since completing a then-record transfer move from Southampton to Liverpool in the mid of 2017/18 season.

When games for club and country are included his incredible record becomes even more intriguing with the run stretching to over a whopping 68 games.

The heart of the matter...

As Pepe made his full debut for Arsenal in a high-profile clash between the only teams with a perfect record heading into the third gameweek, his pace and quick feet helped him get the better of Reds defender van Dijk just seven minutes into the game.

Incredibly, it is the first time van Dijk was successfully dribbled past since March 2018 when Mikel Merino did it for Newcastle United.

In the past three seasons, only three players have managed to dribble past Liverpool's defensive rock, of which two players are from Arsenal, with Lacazette doing the same in 2017.

Though his streak might've come to an end, the fact remains that he is one of the top defenders in the world at the moment and a clear favourite for UEFA Champions League Defender of the year award.

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The Dutchman has had a flying start to the 2019/20 campaign winning all the three games with Liverpool so far and sit at the top of the table at the moment. Having missed out on the title by a slim margin, it seems he and his teammates are aiming for the glory since the get-go.

What's next?

Liverpool will find out how their UCL title defence will pan out when the group stage draw will take place on August 29.

Also, the UEFA Men's Player of the Year will be announced that day, in which the former Celtic star has made it into the final three-man shortlist alongside Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.


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