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There's nobody in the Premier League who plays like him: Michael Owen on Liverpool's Thiago Alcantara

England U21 v Andorra U21 - 2019 UEFA European Under-21 Championship Qualifier
England U21 v Andorra U21 - 2019 UEFA European Under-21 Championship Qualifier
Ume Elvis
ANALYST
Modified 09 Jan 2021, 21:16 IST
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Former Liverpool striker Michael Owen has heaped praise on Thiago Alcantara after watching him star in a 45-minute cameo against Aston Villa on Friday.

Speaking to BT Sport (via Goal) after watching the Premier League champions secure their place in the fourth round of the FA Cup, the 41-year-old said:

"This fella just makes me want to watch football 24 hours a day. The way he looks around, the way he gives it the eyes. There’s nobody in the Premier League, nobody that plays like him."

He added:

"He’s playing a different type of game than everyone else. His disguise on passes is unbelievable."

Thiago Alcantara was introduced at half-time, with the game poised at 1-1, and helped inspire Liverpool to a 4-1 victory.

Aston Villa had been ravaged by several COVID-19 cases in the build-up to the game. This means that their squad was entirely made up of Under-18 players. Meanwhile, Liverpool fielded a relatively strong starting line-up.

The visitors took a 4th-minute lead through Sadio Mane. At that point, it seemed like a whitewash was on the cards but against the run of play, Aston Villa equalised and held on for the first hour of the game.

However, the introduction of Thiago Alcantara helped turn the tide, and the Reds ended up with a 4-1 victory, with second-half goals from Gini Wijnaldum, Sadio Mane and Mo Salah.

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Despite the defeat, Aston Villa, who boasted an average age of 18 years and three months, won praise for their tenacity and can hold their heads high after their performance.

Thiago Alcantara's return to fitness essential for Liverpool ahead of home run of the season

Liverpool have been in poor form in recent weeks
Liverpool have been in poor form in recent weeks

Thiago Alcantara's debut season at Anfield has been mired by several injuries, and he only just returned to action after a two-month spell on the sidelines.

Nevertheless, the 28-year-old has shown his quality whenever he has played, with his passing technique and pristine vision helping him dictate the tempo of games effortlessly.

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Liverpool have been disproportionately affected by injury concerns this season. This has concordantly seen their lead at the top of the Premier League table reduced.

Arch-rivals Manchester United have the potential to go to the summit of the English top flight with a victory in midweek.

The Premier League champions will, however, get an opportunity to reclaim the top spot when they host the Red Devils next weekend. Thiago Alcantara's return to fitness will be crucial as Klopp's side battle for glory on three fronts.

Published 09 Jan 2021, 20:00 IST
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