Thiago Alcantara was absolutely phenomenal against Leeds United after being given a start ahead of Jordan Henderson and his control helped the Reds on to victory.
After all the drama and anticipation of the Brazil ban, Liverpool played against Leeds as if there had been nothing going on behind the scenes and put Marcelo Bielsa’s dangerous side down with ease.
A 3-0 scoreline actually flattered the home side as Sadio Mane could have had a hattrick if he was more clinical and while a few players have been named as the man of the match by fans, Thiago was mine.
According to WhoScored, the £25m ace had a 90% pass accuracy and completed all of his four long passes as well as creating two chances. Mane, despite his poor finishing, converted one of them to give his Spanish teammate an assist.
After I criticised Thiago’s ball-winning ability, I have been embarrassed as the former Bayern Munich ace won 10 out of the 11 duels he attempted to help Fabinho shut Leeds down in the centre of the park.
After the horrific injury that Harvey Elliott sustained, Klopp is going to need all of his midfielders to remain fit and perform at their highest possible level until he returns to diminish the effect his injury will have on the side.
Thiago’s inclusion was initially an odd one as many fans thought Henderson was a nailed-on starter but the Spanish international controlled the game for the Reds and allowed them to contain what can be a very dangerous Leeds side at times.
There was some talk before the Leeds game about Thiago’s difficulty at Anfield so far and not only are these comments unfair given that he suffered a serious knee injury after a dangerous tackle from Richarlison, but when he’s been fit in a side not decimated by injury, he’s been absolutely fantastic.
His display against Leeds was quietly one of his best yet and had his goal not been disallowed due to Mo Salah’s offside, it may well have gone down as his best yet.