Former West Ham United defender Matthew Upson lauded Harvey Elliott for the impact he made off the bench for Liverpool in their 1-1 draw against Chelsea earlier today (13 August).
The Englishman was left on the bench as Jurgen Klopp went with a front three of Luis Diaz, Diogo Jota and Mohamed Salah. He came on in the 77th minute for the Egyptian superstar, who was visibly livid with being substituted.
Elliott put in a strong shift down in central midfield for the Reds, constantly falling back to defend and also supporting his teammates in attack. His close control and acceleration made him a tough man to mark for Chelsea in midfield.
Elliott managed two recoveries, two clearances, one interception, and one key pass and had a 100% success rate when attempting dribbles. While giving live commentary on BBC's live link for the game, Upson stated:
"Elliott has had a really good impact since coming on, stealing the ball in midfield and driving forward. Liverpool have struggled to find that potency that they had in the first half."
Elliott was unable to help his team score the decisive goal but played a crucial role in keeping Liverpool's midfield tight and energetic. Given the Reds played with a natural destroyer, it was important for all three central midfielders to put in a shift off the ball.
The 20-year-old can expect to play an important role for Klopp this season given the Reds' dearth of options in midfield.
Virgil van Dijk gives verdict on Liverpool's draw against Chelsea
Virgil van Dijk led Liverpool out at Stamford Bridge in what was his first game as the Reds' undisputed captain.
Both teams had an eventful first half, scoring once and having one goal ruled out for offside each. The Reds started the game well but Chelsea gradually dominated proceedings, ending the game with 65% possession and four shots on target as compared to the visitors' one.
Van Dijk wasn't too unhappy with the point away from home. After the game at Stamford Bridge, he told BBC's Match of the Day:
"We defended quite well in my opinion. It is not easy. Overall it was a very good game that could have gone either way. We take the point."
Van Dijk's next task will be to captain Liverpool in their first home game of the season when they welcome Bournemouth at Anfield on 19 August.