sport news Klopp's patience is rewarded as Van Dijk helps Liverpool to UCL final

Patience isn't one of the qualities you naturally associate with Jurgen Klopp given his manic touchline gestures that accompany the ferocity of his players.

Yet the German knows when to play the long game – and Virgil Van Dijk's role in taking Liverpool to the Champions League final proves it.

Although Mo Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane have grabbed headlines all season, it was the reassuring presence of their £75million defender that meant a remarkable semi-final comeback from Roma was never on the cards despite a spirited attempt and two late goals to give them victory on the night.

Virgil van Dijk (L) played a major part in Liverpool getting to the Champions League final

Virgil van Dijk (L) played a major part in Liverpool getting to the Champions League final

Jurgen Klopp passionately celebrates his side scoring a goal as Liverpool play Roma

Jurgen Klopp passionately celebrates his side scoring a goal as Liverpool play Roma

With 80,000 packed into the Stadio Olimpico, Van Dijk looked and played the part of a commander-in-chief at the back until the job was effectively done.

This is why Klopp ignored huge pressure to sign another centre-half in the summer when the club botched their move for Van Dijk.

He waited until the Dutchman was available in January and boy has it worked.

Roma were 5-2 down from the first leg and Liverpool knew the Italians would come at them.

The Dutchman (R) withstood nearly everything Roma had to throw at Liverpool in the first half

The Dutchman (R) withstood nearly everything Roma had to throw at Liverpool in the first half

Van Dijk, the perfect build for a defender, took responsibility for marking danger-man Edin Dzeko and withstood nearly everything Roma had to throw at Liverpool in the opening 45 minutes, winning headers, blocking crosses and using his pace to help his team-mates out.

At one stage, he even took a boot

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