71% duels won – Neil Jones wowed by 103-pass Liverpool colossus who was ‘brilliant’ v Aston Villa

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On a near-perfect afternoon for Liverpool, Neil Jones singled out one player for praise who had his ‘best game’ for Jurgen Klopp’s side ‘in a long time’.

With Ibrahima Konate (injured) and Virgil van Dijk (suspended) unavailable to face Aston Villa, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip started as the Reds’ centre-back partnership, and the Englishman did his long-term case for selection no harm whatsoever.

The 26-year-old helped his side to keep their first clean sheet of the season with a superb all-round performance, and it was only right that his contribution was heralded afterwards.

Taking to Twitter/X just after the final whistle, Jones stated: “Joe Gomez’s best game for Liverpool in a long time. He’s been brilliant today.”

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The statistics from Gomez’s performance illustrate just how imperious he was at the back for Liverpool this afternoon.

As per Sofascore, he completed a team-high 103 passes out of 108 attempted (95% success rate), along with winning five of his seven duels (71% success) and making two clearances, one clearance and one tackle.

The defender was also composed in possession, picking out a teammate with three of his four long passes against Villa.

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Gomez owes his start today to circumstance given the absences of Van Dijk and Konate, but performances like this could see him retain his starting berth even when both of that pair return to the fold.

Indeed, another teammate’s misfortune could be the 26-year-old’s gain, with the Londoner potentially needed at right-back depending on whether the knock which forced Trent Alexander-Arnold off the pitch today turns out to be serious enough to sideline him for forthcoming matches.

Nonetheless, he’ll have given Klopp plenty of food for thought with his dominant display against Villa on Sunday.

#Ep88 of The Empire of the Kop Podcast: EOTK Insider with Neil Jones🎙️

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