The Dutchman became the most expensive defender in the world when he joined Liverpool from Southampton for £75 million ($102 million, 85 million euros) this month and Klopp could not be happier with his contribution in his first match for the Reds.“Fairytale in a world with not a lot of fairy tales anymore, so I think something like that is quite special,” said the Liverpool boss.“It was a difficult decision to make to be honest because, to be 100 percent honest, the first plan was not to start him but then Dejan Lovren and Ragnar Klavan played a lot of games in the last few weeks, so I changed my mind .“It was a big fight, it was not brilliant football, it was not the most beauty — it was how cup games should be. It is not about who is the better side, who can do this or that. Things like this can happen sometimes, but it is pretty rare.”Van Dijk was a commanding presence at the heart of Liverpool’s defence, although Klopp thinks the centre-back has only given a glimpse of his qualities as he predicted the best is yet to come from the Netherlands international.“He showed a lot of things we want him to show in the future very often,” Klopp added.“Heading of course, football-wise his first touch was good, good under pressure and then around set pieces a proper threat,” he added, praising Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for his corner.“I think first of all we should help him just to be as good as he is already because that’s why we took him. You don’t pay that amount of money for a player and think ‘OK, we can get another 80 per cent’, but of course there is room for improvement.“But the first improvement will be to adapt really to the team, how we deal in different situations. But as I said, since he is in, we spoke more about it and we did it actually on the pitch.”Everton manager Sam Allardyce felt his side had done enough at Anfield to earn a replay after a battling display.“I’m very disappointed we’re not going back to Goodison and trying to get through to the next round,” he said.“We may have saved it late on and I think it was a brilliant effort from the players, even though we’re disappointed.“The performance deserved us to be able to take them back to our place, but that’s not to be.”0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Liverpool’s German manager Jurgen Klopp hugs Liverpool’s Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk at the end of an FA Cup third round match against Everton at Anfield © AFP / Paul ELLISLIVERPOOL, United Kingdom, Jan 6 – Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp believes Virgil van Dijk will get even better after he scored the winning goal against Everton in a “fairytale” Merseyside derby debut.Van Dijk headed home six minutes from full-time to give Liverpool a 2-1 victory in their FA Cup third-round tie with the Toffees after Gylfi Sigurdsson had cancelled out James Milner’s opener from the penalty spot.
Chelsea have completed the signing of central defender Matt Miazga from New York Red Bulls.Miazga, who made his debut for the Red Bulls shortly after his 18th birthday, has signed a four-and-a-half year contract at Stamford Bridge.Boss Guus Hiddink confirmed on Friday that Miaza has been signed primarily as a “squad player” for the remainder of the season.Miazga said: ‘I am very happy to sign for Chelsea, a world-famous club with a reputation for major success. I am delighted to be in the Premier League, the best league in the world, and can’t wait to meet my team-mates and get going.“I am still at the beginning of my career but I believe this is the place to develop and learn from some of the best players in the world.”Hiddink had been keen to bolster his defensive options after it became increasingly clear a new move for Everton’s John Stones will have to wait until the summer.There is also a question mark over the future of Gary Cahill who has become increasingly unsettled with his lack of first-team opportunities.However Hiddink insisted this week that Cahill would be staying at Stamford Bridge and remained a vital part of his future plans. 1 Matt Miazga
The body of the 38-year-old was found Friday in a hotel room hours before his United Hockey League team, the Adirondack Frostbite, were to play a game against the Kalamazoo Wings. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Police said there was no evidence of foul play. Stewart injures arm Reigning NASCAR Nextel Cup champion Tony Stewart injured his right arm after he flipped his car during a qualifying race for the Chili Bowl Midget Nationals in Tulsa, Okla. Stewart, a two-time Cup champion, complained of pain in his arm after Friday night’s race at the Tulsa Expo Raceway. He was examined and treated at a local hospital. A spokesman for Stewart said X-rays and a CT scan were both negative, but Stewart was fitted with a cast until a more extensive evaluation can be made by his own doctors. “I’m a little sore,” Stewart said after leaving the hospital Friday night. “The doctors were great and did a pretty thorough evaluation of me. They didn’t find anything broken, but just to be sure, they fitted me with a cast that I’ll wear until I meet with my doctors on Monday. It looks a lot worse than it is.” King of the hill Janica Kostelic, who won three golds and a silver at the 2002 Olympics, now also is a medal contender in the downhill as the Turin Games approach. Kostelic won her first World Cup downhill in Bad Kleinkirchheim, Austria, building her lead in the overall standings and proving her strength in the only Alpine event in which she did not compete at the Salt Lake City Games four years ago. Lindsey Kildow of the United States finished 18th and lost the lead in the World Cup downhill standings to Michaela Dorfmeister, who was third. The Austrian has 312 points to Kildow’s 287. Briefly Craig Wilson chose not to go to salary arbitration and agreed to a one-year contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates worth about $3.5 million. Also in MLB, the Arizona Diamondbacks and catcher Johnny Estrada agreed to a $2 million, one-year contract. Ohio State strong safety Donte Whitner will skip his senior year to enter the NFL Draft. Andy Roddick fended off four set points in the second set and held off a determined Tommy Haas 6-3, 7-6 (6) to win the Kooyong exhibition tournament in Melbourne, Australia. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! General manager Bob Gainey decided he was the best person to straighten out the slumping Montreal Canadiens. Gainey fired coach Claude Julien on Saturday and made himself interim coach. He also brought in former team captain Guy Carbonneau as an associate coach who will take over as head coach at the end of the season. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGift Box shows no rust in San Antonio Stakes win at Santa Anita Gainey said a coaching change was needed to get some of the team’s best players particularly goalie Jose Theodore and defensemen Sheldon Souray and Andrei Markov to play better. “There are players who went through tough times, maybe injuries or personal things,” Gainey said. “It’s normal for a player to go through periods where they’re not at their best, but when it goes on for a month or more, it’s not normal. “A team can’t function unless its key players give their maximum.” An autopsy was conducted on the body of minor league coach and former NHL player Marc Potvin, who was found dead in a hotel room a day earlier. Results won’t be released until at least Monday, or when police finish their investigation, the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety and the county medical examiner’s office said. “I’m the one who’s responsible and this gives time for Guy to get comfortable with the team and the players,” Gainey said. “It’s more fair for myself to step in and take responsibility until the end of the season.” Assistant Rick Green also was fired. Doug Jarvis was promoted from assistant to associate coach, while goaltender coach Roland Melanson remained in his job.