Almost forgotten amid a crescendo of standout players for Liverpool following a hard-fought 2-1 victory against West Ham, was Xherdan Shaqiri’s contribution.
Shaqiri, 29, was brought on as a second-half substitute alongside Diogo Jota to inspire some much-needed attacking impetus to a Liverpool performance which prior to their introduction, was miserably flat.
His performance in a cagey affair cannot be underestimated as it was Shaqiri’s innovation and vision which carved out the all-important winning goal.
The Switzerland international received the ball on the edge of the box and was not phased by countless West Ham bodies surrounding him as he calmly slotted a beautifully weighted disguised pass to pick out the run of Jota, who smashed home the winner.
He was only on the pitch for 20 minutes yet he was unquestionably one of Liverpool’s most creative players, and showcased to Klopp he can be trusted to impact games more regularly.
Jota himself was also outstanding when he came on, finding the back of the net on two occasions, only for one to have been ruled out following another VAR-based decision to deny Liverpool a goal. The Portugal international has now scored in all three of his home Premier League matches at Anfield.
Shaqiri is a quality player in his own right, and he is demonstrating to supporters why maintaining his services for another year could prove to be hugely significant to Liverpool’s title aspirations.
In his 20 minutes of action, he enjoyed a pass success rate of 92%, made one tackle and innovated the all-important moment of the match.
It is because of the quality he brings, that there has been such anxiety over his lack of minutes.
In the previous three matches he has played (Ajax, FC Midtjylland and West Ham) Shaqiri has made a significant contribution of some sorts and his performances are not going unnoticed by his manager.
It always seemed a case of Shaqiri having to earn Klopp’s trust, and he took a step forward with this contribution.
Here is a look at the reaction to Shaqiri’s performance.
You are recognised and applauded for the result tonight #shaqiri
— Talk of Liverpool FC (@TalkofLFC) October 31, 2020
I am loving the Shaqiri and Jota double act coming off the bench to terrorise tired defensives!
Shaqiri tricky and passing/vision and Jotas determination, speed and finishing @XS_11official @DiogoJotaa20 #YNWA #LFC
— Ollie LFC Oliver* (@ollie_two) October 31, 2020
Jota and Phillips will rightly get most of the plaudits but can’t underestimate Shaqiri’s influence coming on in last 2 games. His eye for the killer pass through packed defences is superb. #LFC
— Thomas Carroll (@thomascarroll76) October 31, 2020
Shaqiri changed the game. Without him? We don’t win that game. No chance! #LFC
— Timmy Robson (@WaveyTimz277) October 31, 2020
After I gave him a hard time earlier this week, that's why Shaqiri is still in Klopp's plans. He's so dangerous in those positions 20 yards from goal, either by shooting or playing deft passes like the assist for Jota.
— Scott Groom (@ScottCGroom) October 31, 2020
That's a statement by Nat and Shaqiri both. Diogo is anyway going to get his way into the team but he has exceeded his expectations. Massive headache for Jurgen now and it's the good kind of headache.
What a performance ♥️🐐.@LFC
— Aditya Rane* (@adiji) October 31, 2020
Brilliant pass by Shaqiri for the goal. He is top class. So glad he stayed #lfc
— John Paul Walsh* (@jpwred316) October 31, 2020
Shaqiri and Jota are so damn perfect for us. Their ability to change the game within minutes with their movement, dribbling, passing and shooting is superb. At this moment I still agree with Klopp on bringing them off the bench and keeping the front three as they are.
— 🔴 (@ChrisvLFC) October 31, 2020
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