Where do I even start?
Liverpool beat Manchester United 4-0 on Tuesday evening. The full-time whistle meant that Jurgen Klopp’s men have scored 9 goals in two games against their dire rivals this season.
The first team to do so in Premier League history and while fortune is needed to carry them to a second title in three years, Liverpool are the best team in the league at the moment.
From Alisson Becker to Virgil van Dijk to Thiago to Sadio Mane, this team is on fire right now. Yet that’s leaving out the world-class talents that surround them.
Mohamed Salah also returned to goalscoring form.
Yet it was the little magician, Thiago Alcântara do Nascimento, who ran the game and truly represented the gulf in class that exists between Liverpool and Manchester United at the moment.
Whenever this fixture comes around, United fans like to say that an “in form Pogba” would get into a combined XI from the two clubs.
Yet when the Frenchman trudge off injured in the 10th minute, his ability to make that argument was rendered null and void even if it’s an impossible case to make.
Thiago, however, had already started his masterclass in midfield – a display that has earned widespread plaudits this morning.
According to WhoScored, the Spaniard took 132 touches during his 80 minutes on the pitch.
Before you even look at the rest of his stats, you can already understand the level of influence he had on the game.
His pass accuracy was 96% from 113 passes. That’s simply ridiculous.
He misplaced just 9 passes and as a tweet from Tactical Times shows, even his misplaced passes involved quality in various aspects of his game.
Even Thiago's inaccurate passes show us how good he is.pic.twitter.com/Bsb6AXJicJ
— The Tactical Times (@Tactical_Times) April 20, 2022
Thiago is a pendulum for Liverpool. In whichever direction his momentum swings, so too does the intent from the Reds. His 3 key passes don’t accurately represent the value of his passes.
Having a midfielder like Thiago, who can break the lines with ease, spray a 60-yard pass to Mohamed Salah after doing stepovers in front of Bruno Fernandes while also playing dainty but unerringly accurate balls over the top of the United defence has taken Liverpool to a new level.
While Jordan Henderson and Georginio Wijnaldum have both made incredibly valuable contributions at Liverpool in Premier League and Champions League-winning seasons, Thiago is a class above.
It’s no surprise that he has played for prime Barcelona, prime Bayern Munich and the best Liverpool team I have ever had the honour of watching in my 25 years.
Thiago vs. Man Utd
— CF Comps (@CF_Compss) April 19, 2022
After the game, Gary Lineker took to Twitter to say: “Love watching Thiago. Especially the disguised passes. Superb player.”
Liverpool have been blessed by the football gods. He might not have the best injury record but when he’s fit, this is the type of display the Spaniard is capable of.
With a quadruple still on the cards, keeping him fit is going to be vital to Liverpool ending the season on a historic note.
Thiago walks off and is applauded by Anfield and Klopp,
— B/R Anfield (@lfc_allting) April 19, 2022