In his biblical and majestic voice, Peter Drury gave us a glimpse of Thiago Alcantara’s genius which proved lethal for Manchester United but came across as sweet drops of honey for the Liverpool fans. There hasn’t been a more potent and effective performance on the pitch at Anfield against the Red Devils than Thiago’s.
The Spaniard didn’t want to be substituted. He was having the time of his life; crossing balls from one corner to the other, dictating the pace of the play, pressing and finding players at will. The ex-Bayern Munich star had completed 98% of his passes in the first half. This is something you get when you play FIFA with your younger sibling who has no knowledge or depth of the game.
Through the 80 minutes he played, none of the United players were able to mark him or get near him. But Jurgen Klopp felt that he should spare United a misery that they can no longer bear.
“Thiago was laughing when he came off, he was laughing at Manchester United all game. I don’t normally swear on the podcast but he took the p*ss out of Manchester United tonight.” Gary Neville was livid after the post-match presentation.
Paul Scholes wasn’t far away to express his ‘sadness’ over Manchester United’s present and their imminent future. And both the United legends had one player on their mind, the 31-year-old midfielder, Thiago.
It was football ballet when Thiago left the United midfielders in his shadow, twisting and turning, believing that he was the only player who had that unflinching confidence that he could do no wrong on the pitch. It was as if all the footballing gods had summoned their powers and fed them into Thiago who had United by their throat.
Any amateur FIFA player would have studied Thiago’s moves and tried to recreate them on the PlayStation console that he uses the joystick for. While Thiago with his suave skills was doing it all with his feet. What if he decides to pick up that joystick? Where will all those digitally remastered United players hide then? Where will the rest of the Premier League players hide?
What Martin Tyler said when Thiago left the pitch will resonate with entire Europe, “He didn’t get on the pitch, he dominated the pitch.” Even though the front three – Luis Diaz, Mohammed Salah, and Sadio Mane all went on the scoresheet, Thiago was the one providing the goods all night long. As Vincent del Bosque once said for Sergio Busquets, “You watch the game, you don’t see Busquets. You watch Busquets and you see the game.”
This was Thiago at Anfield against Manchester United. Peter Drury summed it up beautifully: “This man does things with football which ought to be illegal.” If there is a footballing mafia, they need to contact Thiago as soon as possible.