Brighton & Hove Albion

Salah may have scored for Liverpool, but Wijnaldum was their unsung hero in Brighton win

Salah may have scored for Liverpool, but Wijnaldum was their unsung hero in Brighton win

Liverpool supporters have been making a lot of noise in the Transfer Tavern in recent times after seeing their team secure a third win of the Premier League season to move top of the division on Saturday.

Jurgen Klopp’s men had recorded successes over West Ham and Crystal Palace prior to the visit of Chris Hughton’s Brighton at the weekend, who went into the clash full of confidence after beating Manchester United in their previous encounter. And while the Seagulls put up a brave fight at Anfield, Mohamed Salah’s first half effort was enough to seal all three points for the Reds, thus maintaining their 100% record to start the season, at the same time moving them top of the Premier League at this early stage of the campaign.

Subsequently, there have been many thrilled Liverpudlians up and down the country in recent times, several of whom have been heaping praise on goal-scorer Salah for his fine strike to see off the South Coast outfit.

The Egypt international is seeking to back up his outstanding first season at Anfield last term, in which he netted 32 times in the Premier League to win the Golden Boot, by producing the goods again this time round, and with two goals in his opening three games, he is well on his way to doing so once again.

And while the 26-year-old has rightly been earning plaudits for his winning goal on Saturday, there were plenty of excellent performances from Liverpool players at Anfield, not least midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum.

The Netherlands international was one player who many thought would lose his place in the starting line-up this term following the summer arrivals of Naby Keita and Fabinho, yet the 27-year-old has certainly proven his worth in the early stages of the campaign.

Fresh from fine efforts in wins over West Ham and Palace, Wijnaldum was again given the nod by Klopp in his midfield three alongside Keita and James Milner, and he did not disappoint with another commanding display in the middle of the park.

The former Newcastle United man touched the ball 93 times over the course of the 90 minutes to emphasise that he was busy making things tick in the midfield, but what was quite remarkable was that, from 76 attempted passes, Wijnaldum made 75 of them.

That equated to a staggering 99% pass success rate come the conclusion of the match, which is a sensational number and more than the rest of those that started the game for the Reds – the closest to that figure were Keita and Virgil van Dijk, who made 92% of their passes.

But it wasn’t just his efforts on the ball which gave the Reds a platform from which to go on and win the game, as Wijnaldum also excelled off it in making three of the four tackles he attempted, at the same time making one interception to prevent Brighton from making ground up the pitch.

Mentions must also go to Milner, who was once again brilliant as part of the midfield trio alongside messrs Keita and Wijnaldum, and the centre back pairing of van Dijk and Joe Gomez, as the duo have helped Klopp’s side to a third successive clean sheet to start the campaign.

Yet the efforts of Wijnaldum trump them all, which is why despite Salah netting the winning goal to again underline his importance to this Liverpool team, it was the 27-year-old Dutchman who was their unsung hero against Hughton’s Seagulls.

Liverpool fans… what do you think? Let us know!

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