Liverpool’s summer acquisition Thiago Alcantara set a new Premier League passing record after completing 75 successful passes against Chelsea. The Spanish midfielder was subbed-in for captain Jordan Henderson at half-time at Stamford Bridge.
Thiago’s staggering 75 passes is the highest by a player who has played a maximum of 45 minutes since Opta started producing passing statistics 16 years ago. The former Bayern Munich midfielder’s efforts also outdid every Chelsea player on the pitch when it came to the number of passes.
The 29-year-old settled in quickly with Liverpool firmly in command of the game after Chelsea were reduced to 10 men following Andres Christensen’s dismissal.
Thiago asserted his command but with a minor blip
Despite being influential at the other end, Thiago almost allowed Chelsea to claw back into the game. Thiago fouled Timo Werner inside the penalty area to give away a penalty. Thankfully, Alisson stepped up with a stellar save to deny Jorginho a goal from the spot for the first time in over 3 years.
With the game goalless at the half time mark, Liverpool commanded the latter half of the game over the 10-men Chelsea. Sadio Mane nodded Liverpool ahead with a perfectly placed header following Roberto Firmino’s cross from the right. Minutes later, the winger made it 2-0 by capitalising on Kepa’s mistake.
Klopp pleased with Thiago’s debut
Liverpool manager revealed that he was delighted with Thiago’s ‘perfect debut’. He claimed that Thiago was introduced right-away in the second half to establish command following Chelsea’s numerical disadvantage .
“We decided to bring Thiago on early because it was 11v10 and a player like him can command the rhythm. It was the perfect start for him and the boys helped him massively,”
Top timing. He played with Spain and trained with Munich so he’s fit, that’s not a problem. He needs to get used to his team-mates, but when they went one man down it became the perfect game for him.
“I liked his game a lot. Defensively it was tricky for him, but offensively, with the ball, that’s him, he wants to pass the ball.”
Liverpool now faces Lincoln City away from home in the third round of the Carabao Cup with a clash against high-flying Arsenal on the horizon in the Premier League.