Liverpool’s new star?
An imperious display from Thiago Alcantara has left Liverpool with one foot in the Champions League Final after the Reds beat Villarreal 2-0 on Wednesday night.
The Spaniard looks to be fully settled into life at Anfield this season, but it hasn’t been plain sailing for the Masia graduate. Initially criticised after his £19.8 million arrival from Bayern Munich in 2020, he was lamented as a player who slowed down Liverpool’s much-heralded quick attack.
However, with the Reds back at full strength for this campaign the 31-year-old has become a vital cog in Jurgen Klopp’s quadruple chasing wheel, and his performances over the last month have once again shown just how good the midfielder is.
Thiago’s remarkable passing skills
In the last three games, Thiago’s precision has been simply astonishing. Registering a 96 percent passing accuracy against Villarreal, it follows on from 98 percent versus Everton and 96 percent against Manchester United – a game where his midfield control was described as ‘world-class’ by many.
Full Club Comparison
Playing all 31 of his games this season in central midfield, he has registered two goals and three assists, but his play is so much more than that. Thiago is all about breaking the lines from defence to attack and stopping the opposition at the highest point.
Underlined by the nature of his play against Villarreal – from the 103 passes he made 34 were in the final third, while nine were registered as accurate long balls, he simply pulled the strings all evening.
It was these qualities that the Spain international was well known for during his time at Barcelona and Bayern Munich, and it’s no surprise these traits are fully shining through at Liverpool.
‘I’m enjoying it 100% at Liverpool’
“I’ve enjoyed every period of my career, but I’m enjoying it 100 percent here for sure,” he said on Wednesday night after picking up the Player of the Match award.
Thiago’s influence on this Liverpool side is easy to see, the Reds have only lost once this season in the Premier League with him in the starting 11, while in Europe he’s also added goals to the team.
Thiago Alcantara’s record in the Champions League over the past four years is pic.twitter.com/S2gwdFhyeX
— Transfermarkt.co.uk (@TMuk_news) April 28, 2022
A superb strike against Porto was almost replicated against Villarreal, the frame of the goal denying him a cherry on top of Wednesday’s Champions League cake.
Liverpool’s Premier League run-in continues away to Newcastle United on Saturday, a team they haven’t lost to in any competition since 2016 and over the last 10 fixtures the Reds have notched up 22 goals while conceding only nine.