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Alexis Mac Allister manages 8-year high as Solanke stat proves Van Dijk dominance

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Liverpool’s second-half performance against Bournemouth was supremely clinical, and a couple of players stood out on the day for Jurgen Klopp‘s side.

While the match will be deemed a success for the Reds’ display after the half time, there was one player in particular who impressed on both sides of break.

Alexis Mac Allister was described by Klopp as “absolutely exceptional,” with the boss adding that “all the good things in the first half already happened with him.”

Among the things Klopp praised was the Argentine being “super calm on the ball,” and the statistics back up the manager’s claim.

According to Fotmob, Mac Allister created five chances and made 11 passes into the final third across the whole game.

It was defensively that the converted box-to-box midfielder stood out, though. In fact, no Liverpool player has made more tackles in a Premier League game in the last eight seasons than Mac Allister against Bournemouth (nine), reported Squawka.

Fotmob tells us he won 14 duels, including two of two in the air. He made 15 recoveries in total, six more than anyone else on the pitch.

 

Clinical finishing wins the day

Bournemouth did manage 11 shots against Liverpool, despite being overran for large parts of the match – they made approximately just seven successful passes between the 20th and 30th minutes.

In total, Liverpool had just three more total efforts, but seven of those were on goal, compared to Bournemouth‘s one.

Fotmob’s expected goals statistic also demonstrates how Liverpool made the most of their chances. The Reds had an xG of 1.57 to Bournemouth‘s 1.37, but massively outperformed their xG, of course.

Darwin Nunez scored two for the Reds, meaning he is now the first Premier League player this season to notch up 10 goals and 10 assists in all competitions, wrote OptaJoe.

BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 21, 2024: Liverpool's Darwin Núñez celebrates after scoring the fourth goal during the FA Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Liverpool FC at Dean Court. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Diogo Jota netted Liverpool’s other two, taking his 2023/24 Premier League goals per game record to 0.83 per 90. For context, Mo Salah is on 0.72.

This now means, in the Premier League this season, only Erling Haaland, Chris Wood and Callum Wood have more goals per 90 than the Portuguese, for players who have scored more than twice.

 

More Konate praise – why not?

It is becoming a theme in these columns to highlight Ibrahima Konate, and there is good reason for that. Of the last five Premier League starts he has made, Liverpool have kept three clean sheets.

Against Bournemouth, the Frenchman made more accurate passes than anyone else (71) and had the most touches on the pitch (100).

He also came out best in 80 percent of his aerial duels, with eight wins in the air.

Somewhere he can still improve on, though, and where Jarell Quansah has the edge on him, is long passing. Only five of his 12 long passes were accurate (42 percent).

Virgil van Dijk deserves praise, too, of course. However, his stats don’t always jump off the page quite as much, due to Konate being the more aggressive of the pair.

The captain did well to contain ex-Liverpool striker Dominic Solanke, who has scored 13 goals in 23 apps this season – he was limited to an xG of just 0.06 on Sunday.


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