Van Dijk hails 'game-changer' Shaqiri for downing Man United
Virgil van Dijk believes Xherdan Shaqiri's game-breaking performances can be a vital ingredient in Liverpool's title charge.
Switzerland international Shaqiri came off the bench to score a second-half brace on Sunday, sealing a 3-1 win over bitter rivals Manchester United.
The 27-year-old now has five goals in 13 Premier League appearances since joining the Reds from Stoke and Van Dijk has been a fan since Shaqiri's spectacular overhead kick in the pre-season friendly triumph against United in the United States.
"In the end, big Shaq came on and did the job for us. He is a fantastic player," the centre-back told Liverpool's official website.
"He showed it since the first game against Manchester United in America. He is something different and sometimes that's a game-changer."
— Xherdan Shaqiri (@XS_11official) December 16, 2018
The victory was Liverpool's first in the fixture since March 2014 in the Premier League and Van Dijk was delighted to settle that particular score.
"It was special," he said. "It was a long time ago that we won against them at home.
"We wanted to make it right and we wanted to show everyone that we're doing pretty well.
"We had to be brave. We knew what we were going to face.
"They obviously have a lot of quality, especially up front, but we did well – we didn't give them any chance to have clear options. It was a deserved win."