Jurgen Klopp has been named Premier League manager of the month for December, with Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk winning the player of the month award.
Liverpool won all seven of their Premier League matches last month. Having started the month two points behind Manchester City, they ended it seven points clear, although City have since cut that margin to four.
Klopp beat off competition from Maurizio Sarri, Mauricio Pochettino, Manuel Pellegrini and Nuno Espirito Santo to win the manager of the month award for the second time, with his first award coming in September 2016.
“It’s nice, the icing on the cake,” Klopp told the Premier League website. “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.”
Klopp dedicated the award to his players and other members of staff, saying: “One hundred per cent teamwork. I know a few things about football but my best skill is to bring really good people together.
“With the group I have here, if you can mix up the potential of the group with the best attitude you can get, you get quality. That’s what we did in December.”
Van Dijk, who played every minute of league action for Liverpool in December and conceded just three goals, became the first defender to win the player of the month award since Jan Vertonghen in March 2013.
The Dutchman was chose ahead of fellow nominees Felipe Anderson, Eden Hazard, Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Mohamed Salah and Son Heung-min.