Photo: The image that shows how much Liverpool means to Lucas Leiva

The Reds midfielder clashed with Marouane Fellaini during his side's 1-0 defeat to Manchester United.

Slowly but surely, Lucas Leiva has rebuilt his reputation among Liverpool fans.

They can deny it if they want - but his critics were very loud in the recent past. As a holding midfielder who offers very little going forward, it was easy to see no future at Anfield for Lucas.

But the Brazilian has fought his way back into hearts and minds. Most importantly, he has fought his way back into the Liverpool team.

And that fighting spirit was on show against Manchester United on Sunday afternoon, as Lucas squared up to Marouane Fellaini at Anfield.

He felt the Belgian had stamped on his foot and made his feelings clear about it. Without going over the top or striking the big man, Lucas stood his ground and took on a United player who looked almost twice his size.

If anyone had ever questioned how much Liverpool means to Lucas - and there may have been times when you easily could - his desire and passion was on show for all to see this time around. The 29-year-old was one of the Reds' brightest sparks during a dim display on Merseyside.

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