99 touches, 12 duels won: How good was Liverpool's Lucas Leiva versus Southampton?

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Liverpool defensive midfielder Lucas Leiva was superb against Premier League rivals Southampton.

Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva once again proved how important he is at Anfield as he put in another exceptional performance during his side’s 1-1 draw with Southampton.

Speculation mounted in the summer regarding the Brazil international’s future on Merseyside, with the Daily Mail reporting a loan move to Turkish side Besiktas was all but finalised.

In spite of the rumours, Leiva remained at Anfield but despite having found regular first-team opportunities hard to come by under former boss Brendan Rodgers.

Under new boss Jurgen Klopp, however, the former Gremio man has started both Premier League games and his selection in the starting line-up has been justified by yet another brilliant display.

  TouchesAccurate PassesTacklesInterceptionsEffective ClearancesDuels WonBall RecoveriesMins Played
Lucas Leiva 99 67 5 6 2 12 10 90

As shown by the table provided by Opta, Leiva was heavily involved throughout and contributed to his side’s draw by excelling in a number of key areas.

Defensively, he provided a shield in-front of the back and gave plenty of confidence to his fellow midfielders who could freely push up and pressure high up the pitch.

Leiva made five tackles, six interceptions, ten ball recoveries and won an impressive 12 defensive duels.

In possession, he instigated a number of attacks with quick, sharp passing and accurately found his teammates on 67 occasions – more than any other player on the pitch.

In spite of Leiva’s wonderful display, the Reds couldn’t see out the win as Southampton claimed a point virtue of Sadio Mane’s equaliser with just over four minutes on the clock remaining.

Still, there were plenty of positives yet again and a first win under Klopp is surely just around the corner.

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