Thiago Alcantara orchestrated a night of utter dominance as Liverpool beat Manchester United 4-0 at Anfield.
The win sent the Reds to the top of the Premier League table and came after a blistering first-half saw them open the scoring just five minutes into the game from Luis Diaz. Thiago kept Liverpool on top and Salah doubled the Reds’ lead later in the half.
United started the second period with a bit more gusto but Liverpool still bagged the third through Mané and then Salah scored a simply sublime fourth goal to seal a delightful victory.
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One Liverpool player that managed to stand tall above all of his excellent team-mates was midfield maestro Thiago Alcantara. The Spanish international oozed class as he strangled United into submission, but in the most stylish way imaginable. When Thiago left the pitch on 80 minutes he had the most touches (129) passes, completed passes (he had 105/110 for 105% completion!), tackles (3) and chances created (3).
Thiago's game by numbers vs. Man Utd:
100% take-ons completed
100% long ball accuracy
96% pass accuracy
105 passes completed
9 duels contested
7 duels won
4x possession won
3 chances created
Outstanding. 👏 pic.twitter.com/ghKyyHnFJ4
— Squawka (@Squawka) April 19, 2022
Obviously Thiago had an immaculate CV before arriving at Anfield but his early struggles with injury and form caused some to perhaps forget about the staggering depth and breadth of his skill-set. This is a midfielder who can be a tenacious tackler and passing phenom. He can dominate and be decisive, he knows how to win and knowshow to win in style. When he’s fit and in form one could argue he’s the best midfielder in the Premier League, or at least on the same level as the all-conquering Kevin De Bruyne.
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Thiago’s class in that first-half was such that by the break, Twitter was gushing with praise for Liverpool’s no. 6. And who could blame them? The way Thiago glided about the pitch serenely being better than everyone in that godawful blue-and-white United kit was quite a sight to behold. As Martin Tyler said as Thiago was leaving the field to a standing ovation: “he didn’t get on the pitch, he dominated the pitch.”
Thiago really is one of the best. https://t.co/DoQkHGMsYI
— Jasmine (@_jasminebaba) April 16, 2022
When Thiago is fit and in this form, there aren't many better
— Rik Sharma (@riksharma_) April 19, 2022
Not sure there is a more watchable player at the top of their game in the Premier League than Thiago Alcantara. Oozes class.
— Oliver Young-Myles (@OMyles90) April 19, 2022
Thiago's that old fella who turns up in 20 year-old Sambas with knee strapping that stinks of Deep Heat who makes everyone else at five-a-side look like absolute shite.
— Jon (@jonbir90) April 19, 2022
Thiago's first half by numbers vs. Man Utd:
100% take-on success
98% pass accuracy
60 passes attempted
59 passes completed
6 final third entries
5/5 long balls
4 duels contested
3 duels won
3 chances created
It's all too easy for him. 🎨 pic.twitter.com/p7SZp9g5aC
— Squawka (@Squawka) April 19, 2022
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At half-time we here at Squawka even asked some of our readers if they felt Thiago was the best midfielder in the league, just to see how they felt after witnessing the Spanish international cut a swathe through the United midfield still in his slipper. Here are some of the responses.
Kev doesn’t rate the standard of opposition:
I reckon I could pass through this Utd midfield…
— Kev (@kevintweedie92) April 19, 2022
Sarah thinks he’s “one of” the best.
He's up there but certainly not the"best"
One of the best makes more sense
— 🎭 (@_sarahv3) April 19, 2022
Hasheem and Damancy, meanwhile, think Thiago is the top don:
For me personally yes 👍🏾
— khalifa (@hasheem99_) April 19, 2022
In the world 🌎🌎🌎
— Damancy (1) (@Badamas87005853) April 19, 2022
While a whole host of readers were keen to remind us of the Belgian brilliance of Kevin De Bruyne:
Second best behind kdb
— 1.towhid (@1_towhid) April 19, 2022
Between him and KDB atm
— Colin Hamilton (@c_hamilton1992) April 19, 2022
— ㄥ乇ㄖ (@Lil_Mr_Dynamite) April 19, 2022
Nah KDB edges it
— Zak (@zakarialm19) April 19, 2022
— chumillionaire (@bowtiekilla85) April 19, 2022