Lucas Leiva vs Stoke: Video and Stats

Lucas reacted a bit like we did
Ahead of yesterdays 1-0 win against Stoke City in Liverpool’s Premier League Opener at Anfield, there were a few names that you weren’t surprised to see in the starting eleven.

Steven Gerrard, Daniel Agger, Simon Mignolet and Philippe Coutinho all quickly come to mind, and then, there’s another Brazilian — Lucas. These days it would be hard to picture a Liverpool starting line-up without the influential holding midfielder and yesterday was just another textbook example why he continues to justify a slot. It may seem surprising now, but there was a time when his services weren’t appreciated around Anfield and, during the dark days of the short lived Roy Hodgson era, when he considered leaving Liverpool.

Video by @LFCMrBoyWunder

A controller or a destroyer?
In his 90 minutes on the pitch, Lucas spent the majority of the time, 31.8%, in the very middle of the park. Brendan Rodgers favours a “controller” to your typical midfielder destroyer, and we saw a bit of that today — with a healthy dose of carnage thrown in — as the Brazilian opened his campaign with another assured performance.

Lucas won an impressive 75% of his duels today. Against a team as rough and tumble as the Potters, he was successful in each of his 6 attempted tackles and 3 out of his 5 headed duels; consider that he’s only 5ft 10inches going up against some of the monsters that Stoke consider “players” and that single stats just got a bit more impressive. The Brazilian was also on hand to successfully clear the ball out of his box on 1 occasion, as well as make 2 interceptions and commit 2 fouls.

While he’s obviously known more for his defensive abilities, Lucas did pretty good going forward yesterday and completed 84% of his passes to a team average of 82%. He also played 2 key passes that created 2 chances for his teammates — 1 of them being a perfectly weighted ball that would look right at home on a Steven Gerrard highlight reel.

Stats courtesy of Squawka

“I nearly left. I knew they were looking for players. They signed Christian Poulsen at the time, and that was a message for me, that I was not really in their plans” said the Brazilian. Thankfully, Hodgson would be shuffled on in due course and under the guidance of new boss Kenny Dalgish, Lucas would go on to become the Reds 2010/2011 player of the season. The fans who used to boo him, were now apologizing.

“A lot of people come now and say ‘I’m sorry, I’m sorry I used to doubt you and used to boo you. I’m sorry, I was wrong’.” With the Liverpool fans now clearly under his spell, the defensive midfielder is looking to find his way back into the Brazil squad for next years World Cup in his homeland. “What I can add to Brazil is what I’ve been doing in Liverpool, providing security for the defensive players and to pass the ball to attack”.

Liverpool supporters know all too well what the Brazilian is capable of and will be hoping that a quick start to the season will find Lucas back with his compatriots next summer. “In the last few years, we didn’t have the best start – that is probably what cost us during the season” said Lucas ahead of Saturday’s 1-0 win over Stoke City at Anfield. As the Reds won their first opening day fixture in five years, we’re all hoping that those words will prove prophetic ahead of next weekend’s trip to Villa Park.

steven.

Go on and give @MrBoyWunder a follow on Twitter and give a shout out to @Squawka while you’re at it.

Steven McMillan

Can’t find up from down or tell black from white, but doesn't care cause it’s all Red to him. When he's not pissing and moaning about all things Liverpool, he’s chatting nonsense with his multiple personalities — or his “entourage” as he likes to call them.

10 thoughts on “Lucas Leiva vs Stoke: Video and Stats

  • August 18, 2013 at 6:17 pm
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    there’s lies, damn lies and then there’s statistics. set up waters first half effort and instigated the pressure on out goal just before half time with yet another lazy tackle conceding a free in a dangerous area.

  • August 18, 2013 at 6:26 pm
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    thats why we f**** love him.

  • August 18, 2013 at 6:27 pm
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    Unfortunately there are still many idiots who do not rate him. Lucas is overlooked quite often and even though we leaked so many goals when he wasn’t available people still think he is useless. He is a very important part of the team and is looking like he is back to his best

  • August 18, 2013 at 10:06 pm
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    After watching this video I can say that there was nothing to be impressed. A couple of passes here, a couple of tackles there. yawn…What he does is the minimum required for any half decent defensive midfielder. How the heck does this make him such a world class player, i still dont understand! You people get impressed too easily. If the guy is so good why does teams like Real, Barcelona or Bayern not fight for his signature, huh?

  • August 18, 2013 at 10:49 pm
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    I follow Lucas on Twitter and I made sure he knew I thought he was our Man of the Match. If we can keep Lucas fit and in this sort of form. Stevie G at his imperial best and Sturridge and Coutinho and the defence with Mignolet rock solid then I think that we can do even better than the Top 4. With a little bit of luck and proper refereeing decisions (the last couple of seasons we have had some absolutely appalling decisions go against us) then we can really challenge for the title.

  • August 18, 2013 at 10:52 pm
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    Jack, what are you smoking!! Lucas is so key to Liverpool playing well. You only have to see what happened when he was out injured, Liverpool plummeted in the league and really really struggled. With Lucas in this sort of form we can really challenge for the title. I cannot believe there are still idiots out there booing him!! For god’s sake get behind the man, he is class!!

  • August 19, 2013 at 1:37 pm
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    Dan, there’s no idiots here, just people with opinions. I think we all want the same thing and I would love to say at the end of the season that you are right with your opinion. I’ve been watching football a long time now and for me he’s not the quality player that we need to protect the back four. If we put him for sale in the morning – what top european team or even english team would want him. Unfortunately the answer is none of them.

  • August 19, 2013 at 2:36 pm
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    Lucas occupies a bit of a weird role; when he’s not there, we miss him. when he is there, sometimes, he’s hard to notice — but that’s only because he’s doing his job and doing it well.

    Barcelona, Bayern and Real would do well to have a player like Lucas in their side, but it all comes down to tactics and formation.

  • August 19, 2013 at 2:38 pm
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    that’s hardly commonplace.

  • August 19, 2013 at 2:41 pm
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    could another player do the job Lucas does? absolutely.
    would another player do the job with the kind of quiet conviction he does? unlikely.

    the top clubs in Europe may not be banging down our door for him, but that’s fine by me. it’s the performance on the field not the name on the shirt that matters and his performances have been nothing to sniff at.

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