Perfect aerial challenge and tackling stats, no wonder Sam Allardyce was pleased with Lamine Kone

Sunderland Gates

Looking at these numbers, he also had a right to be pleased with John O'Shea.

Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce has said he was impressed by the performance of Lamine Kone at the weekend in only his second game at the heart of the Black Cats defence, as they fought back from 2-0 down to earn a point against Liverpool at Anfield.

Allardyce is quoted in Northern Echo, saying: “Kone's defending is exceptionally good – he probably won more headers than anybody in the team in areas where it would have caused us more problems in the past than it did."

This is one of a few areas where will look at the Frenchman's performance on Saturday compared to the rest his teammates.

  PositionTeamHead ClearanceDuel WonWon TackleAerial challenges won %Tackles AccuracyAppearancesMins Played
John O'Shea DF Sunderland 5 2 1 100 100% 1 90
Lamine Koné DF Sunderland 4 5 1 100 100% 1 90

If Allardyce is praising his January signing then maybe John O'Shea should be getting some praise as well as there are some pretty good numbers for both players. O'Shea shaded things in terms of headed clearances but both defenders won every headed duel the contested and had 100% tackles accuracy, while Kone won the more physical battles.

Certainly, based on these numbers, one wouldn't have expected the duo to be the centre-back partnership that conceded twice in the game, but there are indications that Liverpool had to work hard for their goals.

Instead right-back Billy Jones was credited with one error that led to one of the home side's strikes on the Opta stats - probably for the second goal as he was closed down by Roberto Firmino who played in Adam Lallana.

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