The Liverpool juggernaut keeps marching on.
Against Brighton at Anfield on Saturday, the Reds prevailed 2-1 thanks to a brace from Virgil van Dijk. Once again, it wasn’t easy, and the Seagulls put Jurgen Klopp’s men under pressure late on following Alisson’s red card, but in the end, they picked up all three points. They have now won an astonishing 13 out of their first 14 games in the Premier League, with Leicester City still their closest challengers as they trail by eight points.
This weekend saw the Merseyside outfit’s first match without Fabinho following his injury against Napoli in Europe. In his absence, Jordan Henderson played in the defensive midfield role. Whilst he was unable to exert the same kind of influence as the Brazil international usually does, he was still solid in a position in which he has not played before this campaign.
As is often the case with the 29-year-old, he was solid if not spectacular. He managed a pass accuracy of 87%, although he failed to land a single key pass. However, he did complete eight out of the nine long balls he attempted. In terms of his offensive contribution, he was a spectator, failing to have a single shot or even attempt a dribble.
It was defensively, though, where more was expected of him, and the two out of three ground duels he won shows he did well in that aspect. He also made two tackles, one clearance and one interception, and not one of Graham Potter’s players managed to dribble past him.
Often lambasted by portions of the club’s fanbase, the 55-time England international has shown himself to be versatile and committed to the cause with this performance. When Fabinho is again available, then he comes back into the side – Liverpool could do with his 1.1 key passes per game, for example – but Klopp now knows that he has someone ready to step into the breach should he need it. Players such as that don’t grow on trees. Henderson, therefore, should be cherished for his dedication to the cause, and his will to win.
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