It’s fair to say Liverpool fans were encouraged by Thiago’s 45-minute debut against Chelsea on Sunday.
The Premier League champions announced the signing of Thiago on Friday and were excited to see him named on the bench for the trip to Stamford Bridge.
With Chelsea going down to 10-men minutes before half-time and captain Jordan Henderson suffering from a thigh injury, Jurgen Klopp decided to bring Thiago on at the break.
And it proved to be a very good decision.
The Spaniard pulled the strings to help Liverpool win 2-0, registering some pretty impressive stats.
Thiago completed 75 passes during the second-half – more than any Chelsea player managed during the entire game. It was also a Premier League record by a player to have played a maximum of 45 minutes.
75 – Half-time substitute Thiago completed more passes (75) than any Chelsea player managed in the entire match. Since full passing data is available for the Premier League (2003-04), his 75 successful passes are the most by a player who played a maximum of 45 minutes. Control. pic.twitter.com/UvHfrw1ggN— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) September 20, 2020
Not bad after just one training session with the team.
Liverpool fans can’t contain their excitement over the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich midfielder and have been consuming every piece of content relating to the Spaniard ever since his arrival.
And they will enjoy the video Liverpool’s official YouTube account has just posted. That’s because they’ve released a 5:40 video showing every touch Thiago had during his impressive debut.
Sit back and enjoy:
One trait you may have noticed about Thiago during that video is the disguise on his passes. The world-class midfielder will play short pass, short pass, short pass, and just when it looks as though he’s going to play another simple five-yard pass, he’d whip the ball into the feet of an attacker. Suddenly, Liverpool have the ball in a promising position.
Why is this so effective? Well, it makes the opponent think he’s passing to one player as they start moving to close them down. That is when he quickly whips the ball forward to a dangerous player, meaning the opponent is out of position. He always has that opponent guessing.
His pass after 16 seconds in the below video explains it perfectly as he plays the ball into Mohamed Salah’s feet, tricking Mason Mount into thinking he’s giving it to Fabinho.
Again disguise in Thiago’s body shape, eye gaze and subtle pause entices Mount to anticipate a pass to Fabinho and move forwards leaving a wider passing lane inside to Salah:— Paul McGuinness (@Paulmcg8) September 21, 2020
“Do try this at home kids!” 🔥⚽️ pic.twitter.com/0zMDtmg8vA