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Toney passes Van Dijk test and eyes up Liverpool ‘dream’

For the first time in the Premier League this season, Virgil van Dijk and Liverpool looked vulnerable in defence.

Jurgen Klopp’s side had only conceded one goal in five league matches heading into Saturday’s contest with Brentford, but were breached three times by the Bees on an evening to forget for the Reds.

Van Dijk has barely had to break sweat in any of Liverpool’s games this season, though the Dutchman did not perform in his usual assured manner and was exploited on more than one occasion.

Ivan Toney was the man who made life difficult for the 30-year-old as his physical strength and ability to make dangerous runs proved problematic for Klopp’s side.

You wouldn’t know this was Toney’s first season at the top level of English football based on his performance, highlighting to many Brentford’s inspired transfer gamble on the former Peterborough United striker.

Looking ahead to his first campaign in the Premier League in July, Toney admitted Van Dijk was the best defender was likely to face all season – a challenge he certainly rose to on Saturday.

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Ivan Toney of Brentford in action

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