Thiago Alcantara’s masterclass is not new to those who have been following him from when he was playing for Barcelona to his 7 years stay at Bayern Munich. The 29-year-old Spain international is not just called a midfield maestro for the fun of it, he is one playmaker that can pass the ball before the ball actually gets to him.
It is not just about passing the ball for Thiago Alcantara, it is the style, the technique, and the ease in which he does it. No wonder when he told the world that he wanted a new challenge, Premier League giants, Liverpool and Manchester United lined up for his signature.
The 29-year-old midfielder decided to settle for the reigning Premier League champions as he signed a 4-year-old contract with the Reds for just 30 million euros. His arrival at the club on Friday, September 18, marks the renewal of hope that Jurgen Klopp and his men could successfully defend the Premier League title they won last season.
On Sunday, Liverpool visited Chelsea at the Stamford Bridge. No one expected that Thiago Alcantara would play in the match since he had only one full training session with the team. Fortunately for Liverpool’s fans, the midfield maestro had to be thrown into the match at the beginning of the first half when the club’s captain Jordan Henderson sustained a knock and couldn’t continue with the match.
Few minutes after the substitution, Thiago Alcantara’s masterclass was in full force. The fact that Chelsea was reduced to 10 men when Andreas Christensen fouled Sadio Mane, gave the Spaniard more space to display his mastering of the midfield role.
Within minutes, Thiago Alcantara’s masterclass has made a mess of Chelsea’s midfield and has opened up Chelsea’s defense so badly that the visitors took the lead in the 50th minute through Sadio Mane. In less than 5 minutes, Mane scored the second to make it 2-0.
However, before Liverpool scored the second goal, Thiago almost announced himself badly to Liverpool’s fans when he fouled Chelsea’s new signing Timo Werner in the eighteen-yard box. Luckily for Thiago, the club’s goalkeeper, Alisson stepped up to stop Jorginho’s weak penalty kick.
Thiago Alcantara’s masterclass sets a new Premier League record
Within 45 minutes of Premier League football, Thiago Alcantara set the record of making the highest number of passes in the entire match. He made 75 complete passes in 45 minutes which was more than the number of passes any debutant has ever made in the Premier League.
More so, Thiago touched the ball 89 times which was more than the number of times any player in the match had contact with the ball despite playing just 45 minutes. It is also the highest number of touches a Premier League debutant has ever had in a match since gathering of stats started in the league in the 2003/2004 season.
More so, in 45 minutes of play, the Spain international made the highest number of passes in Chelsea’s half than any Liverpool player that played for 90 minutes. Thiago completed 56 passes in Chelsea’s half while Andrew Robertson and Mohamed Salah who started the game completed 52 and 46 passes in Chelsea’s half respectively.
Watch Thiago Alcantara vs Chelsea below
Liverpool’s fans will be looking forward to seeing more of Thiago Alcantara’s masterclass in the Premier League on Monday, September 28 when the club host Arsenal. They might also see it this Thursday, September 24 in EFL Cup third round match against Lincoln City.