Super goals, ‘keeper blunders and controversial decisions may get all the press, but anyone who has more than a passing interest in football is hip to the fact that there’s a bit more to securing a win than whatever buzz word the media has latched on to following the final whistle.
Putting in a shift that was quintessential of a box-to-box midfielder in the yesterday’s narrow win over Crystal Palace, Emre Can put in a massive showing as Liverpool shook off their Selhurst Park hoodoo to claim all three-points in South London. It was one of those performances that might get overlooked when the pundits are distilling the action into tweet-sized tidbits, but it was the kind that can be absolutely crucial to winning — and an increasingly familiar sight since a certain German manager rolled in to town.
Video courtesy of @MrBoywunder
“Since Jurgen Klopp came I have always been played in midfield, which I think is my favourite position, and I like to play a lot there,” Can told Sky Sports last month. “[Klopp] wants a lot from me, he wants me to push the team forward and to help them and that is what I want to try. Every manager has their own style and that is why a lot has changed, but I am enjoying it,” continued the 22-year old. “Of course I have to learn so many things and I have to work hard and then hopefully I will be better in a few years.”
In a hard nosed display, Can bossed the park as the Reds came from a goal and a man down to claim all three-points in the Capital. Completing a respectable 82% of his passes, the industry of the 22-year old may have only created one chance throughout the 90-minutes, but he contributed in so many other ways with his one interception hardly indicative of the work he put in on the pitch. Winning all of his tackles and take-ons as well as 75% of his headed duels, Can was one of the main reasons we controlled the middle of the park and his two clearances and a one blocked shot helped Mamadou Sakho and Dejan Lovren, who put in a performance of their own against a pesky Palace side, to keep things tight at the back.