Xherdan Shaqiri offered Jurgen Klopp a different option in attack as the Reds looked to build on the lead they’d restored in the second-half of their FA Cup third round tie.
With 45 minutes gone, Aston Villa’s young stars were in a state of utter disbelief going into the tunnel, though for very different reasons to a Liverpool side that were staring down the barrel of another potential humbling at the hands of the West Midlands side.
The introduction of Thiago Alcantara at half-time, with Shaqiri later brought on with 30 minutes remaining on the clock, changed the course of the game.
In the space of two minutes, shortly after being unleased by Klopp, the 29-year-old had assisted Mane’s second of the night and provided the short pass in the Villa box Mo Salah needed to put the game to bed at 4-1.
The Swiss international has been on the periphery of Liverpool’s first-XI in recent times; a frustrating fact considering that he genuinely seems to offer us a different, but viable, option going forward.
With many fans taking to Twitter to shower the former Bayern man with praise, it would appear that we’re not alone in holding such thoughts.
Have a look at the selected tweets below:
Shaqiri could be our secret weapon this season. Think he deserves more minutes and like the way he’s always looking to make something happen.
— Ben Webb (@BenWebbLFC) January 9, 2021
• Job done.
• Should’ve been more convincing.
• Well played to Villa’s youngsters.
• Shaqiri NEEDS more game time.
• Running out of words for Thiago.
• We need a centre-back.
• A long 9 days rest.
• Time to reboot our season.
Man Utd (H), next.
— – (@AnfieldRd96) January 8, 2021
Shaqiri coming on and getting two assists within minutes, almost like playing your most creative player helps you score goals
— ً (@TheImmortalKop) January 8, 2021
Play Shaqiri against United please
— Carson (@WC_LFC_Torres) January 8, 2021
I’ve always been an admirer of Shaqiri and he definitely needs to play more him and Thiago have changed this game. Both have been so creative since coming on and created some brilliant chances, great to watch #lfc #astliv
— Tom Alston (@tomalston_) January 8, 2021