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Thiago Alcantara effortlessly ran the show for Liverpool against Ajax, his highlights are stunning

Josh Lawless

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Thiago Alcantara effortlessly ran the show for Liverpool against Ajax, his highlights are stunning

Thiago Alcantara was at his mesmeric best as Liverpool beat Ajax 2-1 at Anfield to get off the mark in this season's Champions League.

Last season's finalists were humbled 4-1 by Napoli in their opening group game last week but returned to winning ways on home soil on Tuesday evening.

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Joel Matip scored an 89th minute winner for the Reds after Mohammed Kudus had cancelled out Mo Salah's opener with a stunner in the first half.

It was a big win for Jurgen Klopp's side and one that featured a wonderful performance from their midfield technician, Thiago.

With injuries galore, Liverpool's midfield has looked all over the show in recent times but the one slight encouragement against Napoli was Thiago's display when he entered the fray just after the hour mark.

Image: Alamy
Image: Alamy

And he continued where he left off by dropping a masterclass against Ajax. Thiago showed that he really is one of the most aesthetically pleasing footballers in world football, with his highlights going viral.

He was producing signature shimmies and deft dummies throughout, with his passing typically crisp and incisive - whether he was fizzing it in between the lines or spraying it wide to the full-back.

The former Bayern Munich and Barcelona midfielder had a 89 per cent pass completion rate, created one chance and won seven duels against Ajax.

The Spaniard is utterly joyous when in full flow and Liverpool simply do not have another player with his skillset in the middle of the park.

He quite rightly received a standing ovation when he was substituted in the 94th minute and replaced by 17-year-old Stefan Bajcetic.

Image: Alamy
Image: Alamy

Liverpool really ought to wrap him up in cotton wool because his fitness is key to how they fare this season.

Rio Ferdinand praised Thiago for his performance, which he believes epitomised all of what Klopp's Liverpool team are about.

"He came on against Napoli and he was the only one who got any sort of positive words from the manager in terms of his intensity, stepping onto the game, onto opponents, and he took that into the game today," he said on BT Sport.

"The way Jurgen Klopp's teams play at their best is when they're right up against people, when they are in people's faces and when they win it in transition, playing the ball forward. He epitomised all of that today."

Although on the losing side, Ajax's goalscorer Kudus will have enjoyed seeing Thiago up close and personal.

He was nicknamed 'Alcantara' after him as a youngster and once received a signed shirt from his idol, who he came up against for the first time.

Featured Image Credit: Image: BT Sport

Topics: Liverpool, Thiago Alcantara, Champions League

Josh Lawless
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