Liverpool defender Joel Matip made Premier League history for the club by setting a new record for the most number of passes made in a single game, in a resounding 3-0 victory over Huddersfield Town on Tuesday.
Goals from Emre Can, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah helped the Reds to a fine victory at the John Smith’s stadium and also overcome a dismal last week that saw us get defeated at Swansea and go out of the FA Cup by West Brom.
Matip was really poor against both Swansea and West Brom and was rightfully criticised for his performances.
Discussing his error against the Baggies, the Cameroonian told Liverpoolfc.com: “We started in front, our offensive play was okay, but in the defence we had problems.”
“Mistakes like my one kill every team. This mistake cannot happen, I have to clear this ball. In the first half, [conceding] three goals, it hurts every team. It was really hard to come back then.
“We tried [to get back] the whole time but it’s really hard against a deep-standing team. [West Brom] did what they had to do today and it was enough.”
However, Matip put on a polar opposite performance at Huddersfield, making history with the Reds after recording an impressive 161 passes in the entire game, beating Jordan Henderson’s previous club record of 133 against Burnley in August 2016. Out of those attempted 161 passes, Matip completed 154 of them.
As per Liverpoolfc.com, who released a heat map of Matip’s performance against Huddersfield, the defender’s tally ranks him 3rd in the Premier League’s all-time list, behind Arsenal’s Santiago Cazorla, who completed 162 passes against Sunderland in May 2015, and Manchester City’s Yaya Toure, who completed 168 against Stoke City in December 2011.
On the overall performance against his old colleague David Wagner, Jurgen Klopp appeared to be relieved and happy to be back on the winning track.
“Of course, that was the reaction we needed to show. That’s clear,” Klopp told the club’s official website.
“Everybody saw it was not brilliant, it was not the best game we played so far, but it was very mature. And, in the end, very deserved.
“The best thing we did tonight apart from scoring was our counter-pressing and how we defended situations when Huddersfield won the ball deep.”
Let’s hope Matip soon forges a formidable defensive partnership with club-record signing Virgil van Dijk.