Liverpool made it three Premier League games without a goal as they were held to a stalemate against Manchester United in Sunday’s game at Anfield.
In a game of few chances, neither side was able to find a winner, meaning that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side stay top of the Premier League, three points clear of Liverpool.
Despite the poor attacking display, there are some positives for Jurgen Klopp to take from the game, including the performance of Thiago on his home debut for the club.
Since joining from Bayern Munich in the summer, the midfielder has been limited to six appearances in all competitions for Liverpool, the previous five of which had come away from home, with injury ruling him out for an extended period earlier in the season.
However, he has shown glimpses of his immense quality in his brief time in a Liverpool shirt and he was superb once again in the draw against United.
As per SofaScore, the former Barcelona man earned an 8.1 rating for his display, which was only bettered by Harry Maguire, who earned an 8.2 rating.
The 29-year-old enjoyed 121 touches of the ball during the 90 minutes, which was comfortably the most of any player on the pitch, with Jordan Henderson’s 97 touches the closest any player would come to his total. He also completed 83/96 passes, resulting in an impressive pass success rate of 86%.
In a game where Liverpool struggled to create, Thiago was the man to unlock United’s defence at times, as he made two key passes from midfield, as well as being successful with all five of his attempted dribbles, which again, was more than any other Liverpool player.
Perhaps most impressively, however, was the way in which Thiago was able to limit Bruno Fernandes’ influence on the game. The Portuguese midfielder was undoubtedly one of United’s main danger men ahead of the game but he endured a pretty woeful display, which can perhaps be credited to the way Thiago controlled the game from midfield.
The former Sporting Lisbon man was able to complete just 18 passes compared to Thiago’s 83, whilst winning just two duels compared to the Spanish midfielder’s nine, which saw him earn a disappointing 6.6 rating.
In the first half especially, when Liverpool were on top, the attacking-midfielder was expected to mark Thiago and close him down more often, which meant he spent a lot of his time chasing the former Bayern Munich man, rather than being able to create opportunities for the away side.
After returning from injury against Newcastle last month, Michael Owen dubbed the midfielder a “proper baller” and given Sunday’s display, it is easy to see why.
Therefore, it could definitely be argued that Thiago gave Fernandes nightmares with his display, as it led to his third-worst match rating of the Premier League season so far.
And, in other news… Liverpool can find Klopp’s Coutinho replacement in 26 y/o who scores and assists