Thiago Alcantara played a key role in Liverpool’s 3-0 win over Leeds United today.
The Spaniard was making his first start of the season having had a short pre-season due to his featuring at Euro 2020.
He did not take long to remind us all what a top-class player he is.
Leeds United 0-3 Liverpool
Liverpool continued their unbeaten start to the season with a convincing 3-0 win over Marcelo Bielsa’s side.
However, much of the focus in the aftermath was on the horrific injury suffered by Harvey Elliott in the 58th minute.
The youngster was stretchered off after a challenge by Pascal Struijk left him in agony. The Dutch centre-back was sent off for his tackle.
However, the game went on and the Reds picked up the win. They were the much better side for the majority of the game, with 30 shots compared to Leeds’ nine.
Mohamed Salah scored his 100th Premier League goal to open the scoring. Fabinho doubled the lead from a set-piece before Sadio Mane sealed the three points in injury time.
Thiago Liverpool’s heartbeat against Leeds
Much of Liverpool’s dominance came from the winning of the midfield battle.
In the build-up to the game, RTK spoke about how Thiago would be the perfect man to play against this Leeds side.
We reckoned that his football brain would enable him to find space in the centre of the park and exploit it to Liverpool’s advantage.
It turned out that this is exactly what happened.
The main evidence of this is the fact that he completed four long balls out of four. He made the second-most passes on the pitch, with 55, and 90% of them were accurate.
Thiago completed one dribble, while he also made two key passes.
He didn’t shirk from his defensive duties either, as he attempted four tackles.
The 30-year-old topped it all off with a lovely assist for Mane’s goal, which will quieten some of the rival fans that say he doesn’t contribute to enough goals.
Thiago played his role to perfection, with countless pieces of skill and intelligent play.
The £25m man also made a few runs into the box, which was good to see, and even had the ball in the net with a back-post header at one stage. Unfortunately, Salah was adjudged to be offside before he crossed.