December PL awards 'icing on the cake' for Klopp and Van Dijk
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp celebrated "the icing on the cake" after he and Virgil van Dijk won the Premier League's monthly awards for a flawless December.
The league-leading Reds won seven games from seven for the month as they built a seven-point advantage over champions Manchester City at the end of the calendar year.
City subsequently began 2019 by beating Liverpool to trim that lead, but Manager of the Month Klopp was still able to reflect on a superb month as he collected his award on Friday.
"It's nice, the icing on the cake," he said. "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."
Van Dijk took the Player of the Month honours and had been the subject of praise from his manager earlier in the day ahead of the trip to Brighton and Hove Albion.
"Virgil has outstanding potential," Klopp told a news conference. "He is a fantastic person, he is physically strong and he has all the technical things you need.
"There are so many things that are already good and many things he can also improve. I don't have to judge him now and compare him to other players in the past."