Football

Aaron Connolly Reflects On Premier League Tussle With Virgil Van Dijk

Aaron Connolly Reflects On Premier League Tussle With Virgil Van Dijk

Aaron Connolly's name continues to rise across the channel, as it has been since he announced himself to the Premier League with a brace of goals against Tottenham.

That being said, the Galway youngster faced the toughest test of his career yesterday as he led the line from Brighton against league leaders Liverpool, the European champions marshalled at the back by Virgil van Dijk. The 19-year-old Irishman didn't shirk from the challenge however, even if he was unable to get on the score-sheet before being substituted midway through the second half.

After the game Connolly spoke to the Brighton and Hove Independent insisting a face-off with a player of the Dutchman's calibre can only help his own career. He said:

There was one point where I thought I was in and then he comes back and he's toed it back to his keeper and I'm just thinking, sometimes you have to appreciate you are playing against the best defender in the world.

To play against someone like that at 19 can only help. Obviously he's a brilliant player so it was tough but I thought I did OK. We just need to focus on Arsenal now because the games are going to come quick now.

Yesterday's game was the forward's first game back since sustaining a groin injury during the club's 3-1 loss at Manchester United on November 10. That forced him to subsequently miss the Republic of Ireland's crucial Euro 2020 qualifier against Denmark.

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His return from injury however could hardly have come at a better team, with some tough games ahead for the Seagulls this month. Graham Potter's side will be on the road again this Thursday when they face Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium, before they host Wolves three days later at the Amex Stadium. A week later they will travel to play Crystal Palace.

All three sides are within the top half of the table, along with Sheffield United and Tottenham, both of which will also take on the club in December. The club currently sit just three points off the relegation places.

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Aonghus Ó Maicín

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