Liverpool defender Joel Matip was the standout player in a heated Merseyside derby that saw his side claim a 2-0 victory over rivals Everton.
Whilst he might not grab the headlines due to a great impact from Divock Origi and a goal from Andy Robertson, he really was their stand out player defensively today.
On the other hand, it leaves Everton in the relegation zone as they face a battle to stay in the Premier League. It could be the last derby on Merseyside for a while, and it wasn’t as easy as Liverpool might have thought with Everton holding them to 0-0 in the first half.
Despite the Toffees’ best efforts, Matip remained resilient at the heart of the Reds’ backline, winning 80% of his duels including every single one of his six on the ground.
The 30-yeard-old has been a key part of Liverpool’s on the field success this campaign and has been Jurgen Klopp’s chosen partner to Virgil van Dijk, beating off competition from new signing Ibrahima Konate as well as Joe Gomez.
He played the full 90 minutes and also had a pass accuracy percentage of 89% which was third only to fellow defender van Dijk and midfielder Thiago. His quality is massively appreciated by Liverpool fans but less so by those outside the club.
Former Premier League player Jermaine Jenas has described Matip as “under-rated”, and we agree that he probably doesn’t get the credit he deserves.
Unsurprisingly when it comes to the amount of goals conceded this season, Liverpool are second only to City, having let in just 21 all campaign and a huge part of that is because of the ability of Matip.
The Reds have already won the Carabao Cup and are still in with a chance of winning every other competition. Matip has consistently proved to be a reliable player and showed again in a tough derby game just why it’s so hard to score against Liverpool’s defence.