Liverpool’s convincing 3-0 win over Leeds United was marred by Harvey Elliott’s shocking injury, but their midfield appears to be in safe hands.
The Spanish international Thiago showed an outstanding performance at his first start to the season and was able to play so bravely and aggressively thanks to Fabinho’s brilliance.
After three points on Elland Road, Liverpool have now won the last nine games that the duo started together in midfield, which underlines their effectiveness in the team.
For Reds manager Jürgen Klopp, it might have been the easier and safer option if he had left the tiny gem on the bench for an extra week so that it could keep up with the frenetic, all-action style of Leeds in the engine room.
But this was not the case. The German manager opted for the alternative and chose a midfield full of thinkers instead of hard-working sprinters.
Was Klopp right to start Thiago?
Yes, in any case!
Under no circumstance!
“Liverpool midfield may not have been the sportiest or most mobile,” Sky Sports expert Gary Neville said on the Gary Neville Podcast after the game. “Klopp could have played Jordan Henderson, James Milner and Naby Keita to take on Leeds. But it was about serenity.
“Thiago reminded me of how Paul Scholes played at Anfield. There would be a hustle and bustle in the game and suddenly there would be a little guy in the middle of the court getting his foot on the ball and there would be peace and quiet.
And Klopp was rewarded for his tactically brave decision. During the 90 minutes, Fabinho made a whopping five interceptions, far more than anyone on the pitch, as he constantly blocked Leeds attacks before they could really get going.
The South American provided Thiago with the perfect platform to showcase his true talent and the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich ace was duly indebted to that commitment.
According to SofaScore, the 30-year-old made two key passes during his time on the pitch, created a great chance and crowned his good afternoon work with an assist for Sadio Mane’s long overdue goal in the final minutes of the game.
It felt like the game as the £ 27million dynamo, once hailed as ‘exceptional’ by Barca and Spanish legend Xavi, finally entered English football after playing his last season Fitness and subpar teammates struggled.
Injuries to key center-backs robbed Thiago of any chance to forge a meaningful relationship with Fabinho in his first season on the English coast, but it appears the duo will make up for lost time in the months to come.
One man who could suffer is Keita, who didn’t impress on his two top division starts in 2021-22, but Liverpool’s managers, fans and hierarchy are unlikely to care about the center of the pitch given the potential of their new formidable duo .
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