Thiago Sets A Record For Passing The Premier League
On His Debut For Liverpool After A £20m Transfer
Liverpool’s new signing Thiago Alcantara set a Premier League record on his Liverpool debut by beating all Chelsea players, despite only being on the pitch for 45 minutes.
The Spanish international only completed his initial £ 20 million ($ 26 million) move from Bayern Munich last Friday, but was included in the Reds’ roving squad for Sunday’s clash at Stamford Bridge.
He started the game on the bench, but was introduced at halftime after captain Jordan Henderson was sent off with a suspected thigh injury, and immediately showed that the excitement over his arrival at Liverpool was justified.
The game was scoreless at the time, although the champions had the upper hand when Chelsea defender Andreas Christensen received a direct red card for knocking down Sadio Mané as he entered goal.
Thiago was quick to impact the heart of Liverpool’s midfield, with 75 more successful passes than any other Chelsea player, including those who had played the full 90 minutes.
It is also the most passes completed by a player who played a maximum of 45 minutes since Opta began producing passing statistics at the start of the 2003-04 season.
However, it wasn’t all easy for Thiago, as the 29-year-old tripped Timo Werner in the box on a Chelsea penalty. The mistake was not costly, however, as Reds goalkeeper Alisson saved Jorginho’s penalty shot, the first time the Brazilian has missed from the point in nine attempts in the Chelsea jersey.
With Thiago dictating from deep, Liverpool were able to take firm control of the game, with Mane directing the first goal from a Roberto Firmino cross in the fifth minute of the second half.
Four minutes later, the Senegalese forward took advantage of a mistake by Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa to double Liverpool’s lead from close range.
It means Liverpool have started the Premier League campaign with two wins out of two, following their eventful 4-3 win against Leeds United at Anfield last weekend. The next step for Klopp’s team is a trip to League One’s Lincoln City in the EFL Cup on Thursday, before hosting Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal in the Premier League on Monday.