This article is part of Football FanCast’s The Chalkboard series, which provides a tactical insight into teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Dejan Lovren turned in a titanic performance as Liverpool managed to grind out a vital victory over Leicester City on Saturday.
The Croatia international was partnered with Virgil van Dijk at Anfield and managed to outperform his team-mate against Brendan Rodgers’ men.
The 30-year-old hadn’t played for the club in the Premier League this season prior to the clash with the Foxes but enjoyed his rare outing.
Lovren tallied 57 touches throughout the game, and also had a pass completion rate of 88%, the highest of any Reds player to start the match.
Spectacularly, he also won a total of five aerial duels, one more than Van Dijk, and made two tackles, as well as eight clearances and two interceptions.
In every defensive department mentioned, he outperformed his team-mate.
This could have been a thorny assignment for the Reds.
Leicester came into the game in red-hot form, having thumped Newcastle United 5-0 the weekend prior.
With the likes of Jamie Vardy and James Maddison both starting, it appeared as though the game could have been a thriller.
It was thanks to Lovren’s assiduity in defence that it wasn’t, and that the Foxes were kept at bay.
They did score – Adrian will be disappointed to have conceded Maddison’s effort – but Lovren’s titanic efforts at the back suggest that he should be in the starting XI more often.
It would mean dropping Joel Matip but, at the same time, Lovren has shown he deserves it.