Liverpool supporters have been in fine voice in recent times after seeing their side preserve their unbeaten start to the Premier League season with victory on Sunday.
Jurgen Klopp’s men went into their encounter with bitter rivals Manchester United having won 13 and drawn the other three of their opening 16 league matches, sitting top of the division heading into this weekend’s round of fixtures. And that is where the Reds remain as a brace from Xherdan Shaqiri following Sadio Mane’s opener inspired the hosts to a 3-1 win over the Red Devils, keeping them a point ahead of Manchester City at the summit of the Premier League table.
As such, there have been many delighted Liverpudlians up and down the country in recent times, plenty of whom have been raving about the substitute cameo of winger Shaqiri, who came on with the score at 1-1 as Klopp sought the three points needed to return to top spot.
And it was the Switzerland international who produced the goods with two goals to inspire the Reds to all three points, yet it was the performance of right back Nathaniel Clyne, valued at £18 million by Transfermarkt, who was the real inspiration behind Liverpool’s win.
Ultimately, the England international has endured a nightmarish 18 months or so due to injury which kept him out for much of last season, while the fine form of Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joe Gomez has seen him fall down the right back pecking order.
But with the young duo ruled out of Sunday’s clash against United due to injury, the opportunity was presented to Clyne to go out and produce a level of performance we all know he can deliver – and he did just that and more against Jose Mourinho’s side.
The 27-year-old touched the ball 73 times over the course of the 90 minutes to underline his willingness to get involved down the right-hand-side (as per WhoScored), while his 88% pass success rate (36/41) was the highest of any of his fellow Liverpool defenders.
Thus, it was clear that the Englishman was gaining in confidence as the game went on despite several months out of the side, which was epitomised by his two long-range efforts in the second half – he very much looked like the Clyne of old.
But it wasn’t just on the ball in which the 27-year-old excelled, it was off it as well in winning his one and only aerial duel of the 90 minutes, as well as completing a team-high four tackles to help thwart the advances of Marcus Rashford down the flank, with his compatriot very much United’s most threatening outlet at Anfield on Sunday.
Most remarkably of all though was the fact that Clyne continued to get up and down the right flank for the whole 90 minutes – and in a game of such intensity against one of Liverpool’s biggest rivals, that was quite extraordinary.
Overall, the Reds produced a masterclass to completely dominate United and deservedly take all three points, with excellent performances evident all across the pitch.
And while it was Shaqiri who won them the game with two goals off the bench, the real inspiration behind their victory was the performance of Clyne in what was just his first Premier League start of the season.
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