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Unsung Hero: Joel Matip eases back to action with ‘solid’ performance against Everton

Unsung Hero: Joel Matip eases back to action with ‘solid’ performance against Everton - Liverpool News

In their first Premier League fixture following Project Restart, Liverpool were forced to share the spoils in a 0-0 Merseyside derby result at Goodison Park.

The runaway Premier League leaders were kept quiet by a defensively sound Everton side, who arguably had the better game overall. The Blues came agonisingly close to nicking the win in the 80th minute, but an Alisson parry and a shot off the post kept Liverpool in it.

According to Sofascore, the Brazilian notched the highest rating for the Reds alongside Trent Alexander-Arnold with 7.5. Naby Keita also impressed with his long-awaited return. However, Joel Matip put in a notable shift which perhaps went a little under the radar.

Who should partner Virgil van Dijk?

Joe Gomez

Joe Gomez

Joel Matip

Joel Matip

The Cameroonian is often left on the bench in favour of Joe Gomez as Virgil van Dijk’s partner, but his performance against Everton could make Jurgen Klopp rethink a few things.

Matip was unfortunately forced off through injury in the 74th minute. Klopp has confirmed it’s an issue with his big toe and hopes it’s ‘nothing serious’ but admits he isn’t sure as of yet (via Liverpool). Prior to his collision with Richarlison, the 28-year-old was enjoying a good performance in defence.

In their player ratings, the Liverpool ECHO said he was ‘solid at the back’ and did well to slot back into the team ‘like he’d never been away’. Indeed, Matip comfortably won 100% of all duels attempted, including 1/1 ground duels and 6/6 aerials (via Sofascore). He also boasted 95% passing accuracy which was the highest percentage out of the entire match (via FotMob).

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The Cameroon international also added one tackle and one interception to his tally, along with 5/6 successful long balls (as per Sofascore).

Whilst it will be a disappointing stalemate for Liverpool, Klopp can be pleased with some of the individual performances at Goodison. Matip in particular will likely be seen as competition for Gomez once he returns from injury, which will hot up the fight for first choice centre-back alongside van Dijk.

How would you rate Joel Matip’s performance against Everton, Reds? Join the discussion in the comments below!

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Article title: Unsung Hero: Joel Matip eases back to action with ‘solid’ performance against Everton

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