Liverpool's Klopp wins month's best coach award, Van Dijk named best player
Liverpool's manager Juergen Klopp reacts during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester City and Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, Britain, Jan. 3, 2019. EPA-EFE FILE/PETER POWELL
Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk (R) warms up before the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester City and Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, Britain, Jan. 3, 2019. EPA-EFE FILE/PETER POWELL
London, Jan 11 (efe-epa).- Liverpool dominated Friday the Premier League awards for December as its German coach Jurgen Klopp earned the Manager of the Month award while the English side's Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk claimed the Player of the Month trophy.
After winning all seven matches Liverpool played in December, Klopp won the prize for the second time in his tenure at Anfield, having initially been recognized as Manager of the Month in Sept. 2016.
"It's nice, the icing on the cake," the Premier League website cited Klopp as saying. "It was a very successful but difficult month."
"Each game felt like the most important one of the season. It was unbelievable. The intensity was massive but that's what made it a special month," he added.
Klopp prevailed over Wolverhampton Wanderers manager Nuno Espirito Santo, West Ham United's Manuel Pellegrini, Tottenham Hotspur's Mauricio Pochettino and Chelsea's Maurizio Sarri.
Van Dijk, meanwhile, became the first defender to win the player of the month award since Tottenham Hotspur's Belgium's Jan Vertonghen achieved that feat in Mar. 2013.
The Dutchman beat out West Ham Brazilian midfielder Felipe Anderson, Chelsea's Belgian attacking midfielder Eden Hazard, Tottenham Hotspur's English striker Harry Kane and South Korean forward Heung-min Son, Manchester United's English forward Marcus Rashford and Van Dijk's teammate, Egyptian forward Mohamed Salah.