Premier League

Thiago Alcántara shone against Manchester United and smiled on his way out

The Spanish-Brazilian has silenced his critics with two prodigious performances in four days against City and Manchester United.

Thiago is finally showing the level that makes him one of the best midfielders in soccer and why Liverpool acquired him.
Thiago is finally showing the level that makes him one of the best midfielders in soccer and why Liverpool acquired him.

Thiago Alcántara was the missing 'piece' for Jürgen Klopp's Liverpool. The former Barcelona and Bayern man has the 'master key' to open up tight defenses when the 'rock and roll' gets stuck. His signing from Bayern a year ago for 22 million euros was a real bargain.

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However, he struggled to adapt, largely due to COVID-19 and injuries, and the critics came down on him mercilessly. "Thiago is a defensive liability," former Reds legend Jamie Carragher tweeted after a 3-1 win over Leicester.

Klopp's fierce defense

He was even accused of ducking in the foul that saw Manchester United knock Liverpool out of the FA Cup last season. Klopp, however, stuck to his guns and never lost faith in him: "It's just public perception. Something like 'Thiago is on the pitch and we don't perform well anymore'. This kind of thing is just bullshit, let me put it that way. It's not right. Everyone needs time to adapt."

Is Thiago the best midfielder in the Premier League?

Now the debate in England has changed dramatically. "Is Thiago the best midfielder in the Premier League?" asks 'Squawka'. His display in the 4-0 win over Manchester United endorses his possible candidacy: he had the most touches (129), the most successful passes (105 out of 110), the most passes in the final third (25), and the most successful completed dribbles (3 out of 3).

But he did not only shine on offense. His haters will not be able to complain because he also 'rolled up his sleeves' in defense: he was the player who won the most duels (7), the one who made the most tackles (3) and the one who completed the most interceptions (2). It was, possibly, his most complete performance with the 'Pool' and that earned him a thunderous ovation when Klopp decided to rest him in the 80' to introduce Naby Keïta.

Flattered by Scholes

Even Manchester United legend Paul Scholes applauded him. "Thiago was laughing when he was changed, but he was laughing at the Manchester United players all game," suggested an angry Gay Neville.

"I think it's one of our best performances at Anfield. The first half was incredible, but also the second half. We were at a very high level for the whole 90 minutes," Thiago told 'Sky' after the 'Clasico'.

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Hugo Alberto Walls Gómez

SEO Journalist. Bachelor's Degree in Communication and Media Production. Two years working in digital media and editorial assignments. Currently working for Futbolero US and collaborating with INDeportes and Goleadoras MX, following Liga MX, MLS, and the Premier League. Passionate about sports and soccer.+ info

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