103 touches, four key passes: Klopp knows he can trust one bit-part Liverpool player after last night's show
Photo; Robbie Jay Barratt; AMA; Getty Images

103 touches, four key passes: Klopp knows he can trust one bit-part Liverpool player after last night's show

Kostas Tsimikas put in a fantastic performance for Liverpool against Benfica last night. The Greek international sent a message of sorts.

Liverpool are into the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League once again after a 6-4 aggregate win over Benfica. It was a result that didn’t exactly surprise – the Reds carried a 3-1 first-leg lead – though, the scoreline was more chaotic than planned.

There was an obvious reason for that, however. Jurgen Klopp heavily rotated his side, swapping out seven players from the draw with Manchester City at the weekend. There’s another game coming against Pep Guardiola’s side, after all, and it made sense to save fresh legs.

It’s a sign of just how strong Klopp’s squad is right now. While he largely has a best-XI in mind, there are rotational options that can step into Champions League quarter-finals and shine. Kostas Tsimikas was one of those, particularly catching the eye for Liverpool.

Kostas Tsimikas for Liverpool

Only Ibrahima Konate saw more of the ball than Tsimikas against Benfica. The left-back has 103 touches as he pushed up the pitch – he used the well, too.

That’s best seen as Tsimikas finished the game with two assists, both from set-pieces. But he actually created four chances in this one, twice as many as anyone else on the pitch.

Photo by Jan Kruger – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

There were two dribbles in there, too, as well as two tackles. No one in Red managed more tackles and those that did fell short of Tsimikas’s 100% success rate.

This was a fantastic display from a squad player – exactly what we hoped to see before the game.

Tsimikas showed Klopp just how much he can trust him, even in a massive game like this. It’s something that will be helpful as the legs get tired and the big games continue to come. Just a few days after City, for example, Liverpool welcome Manchester United.

And if Klopp needs him, Tsimikas can step into that one and shine.

All stats per Whoscored.

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