The two had a fascinating battle on Saturday evening.
Ivan Toney has said that only Virgil van Dijk could have stopped him on Saturday, when his Brentford side drew 3-3 with Liverpool.
Toney was referring to a moment in the second half when Toney was seemingly played clean through on goal, but van Dijk emerged from nowhere to shoulder the Brentford striker off the ball.
Ivan Toney vs Virgil van Dijk
While Toney didn’t get himself on the scoresheet on Saturday, he was virtually unplayable throughout the game, regularly beating both van Dijk and Joel Matip in the air, which is no easy feat.
His hold-up play helped Brentford get up the pitch against a strong Liverpool defence, and his ability to run the channels had Matip and van Dijk constantly on their toes.
Speaking after the game, Toney said that his battle with van Dijk was “pure madness”.
He said: “It was pure madness, coming up against one of the best centre-backs in the world. You know it will be a battle.
“He certainly gave me that. The chance I had at the end, any other defender and I’ll get onto the end of it, but not Van Dijk.
“He just opened up and shoulder barged me.”
Brentford loving life in the Premier League
Brentford manager Thomas Frank has been clear since his team got promoted that he would not sit off and try and hold out for draws against the bigger sides, and it is providing great entertainment for neutrals who tune in.
After narrowly missing out on promotion the season before last, Brentford finally had a bit of luck in the playoffs, and made their way to the promised land, largely thanks to Toney’s goals (31 in the league).
Speaking ahead of this season, the Brentford striker said that the club’s genuine aim for this season is to “win the league”.
It’s this level of supreme confidence that Frank has implemented into this squad that makes them a must-watch every weekend, regardless of opposition.