Some Liverpool fans have been reacting on social media to Joel Matip’s impressive ball carries stats for the Premier League season, following his marauding run against Leeds.
Matip surged out of the Reds’ backline to bring possession up the field with a neat exchange with Mohamed Salah. The centre-half then found Trent Alexander-Arnold on the right, for the full-back to deliver a dangerous cross for Salah to net his 100th Premier League goal.
Cameroon international Matip was the architect of the move as he made his fourth start of the term. Jurgen Klopp was never able to start the 30-year-old in three successive top-flight games last season due to injuries. While an ankle ligament problem ended his 2020/21 campaign early in January.
Matip has been a star for Liverpool since returning to fitness over the summer to hit the new season running from the get-go. The Times have also shared the £100k-a-week enforcer has already covered a total distance of 933.8 metres on the ball.
He has racked up the distance with 95 carries, with 62 progressive by moving the ball more than five metres. Only Manchester City trio Ruben Dias (134), Jack Grealish (104) and Aymeric Laporte (102) have carried possession more often. Wolves dynamo Adama Traore (93) ranks fifth behind Matip.
The Times also note Dias and Laporte have completed more progressive carries than Matip has for Liverpool thus far. But Grealish has only registered 56 progressive carries, less than Matip, Traore (62) and Newcastle’s Allan Saint-Maximin (58).
Yet Matip’s 68 is twice as many as any other player at Anfield, with defensive partner Virgil van Dijk second (28). Sadio Mane, meanwhile, is closest to his distance covered to date at 607.6 metres. Salah has covered 505.8 metres over 43 total carries.
Liverpool fans react to Matip carries and distanced covered stats
In terms of distance covered, Matip additionally ranks eighth in the Premier League this season with his efforts under Klopp. Traore (1,360.1) tops the chart, ahead of Dias (1,276.1), Grealish (1,257.3), Saint-Maximin (1,182.2), West Ham’s Declan Rice (1,088.3), Southampton’s Valentino Livramento (985.6), Laporte (962.9) and Matip (933.8).
Some Liverpool fans have also lauded Matip on social media in response to The Times’ piece noting his statistical exploits. Some have even claimed the 30-year-old has done little wrong thus far this term, while others also dubbed the 27-cap international as ‘underrated’.
Klopp will hope opposing teams do not cotton on too soon to how Liverpool are utilising Matip on the ball. His influence was decisive in the move that saw Salah break the deadlock at Leeds over the weekend. And the Reds will hope their centre-back, firstly stays fit, but also remains as influential.
So, here are some of the messages Liverpool fans have shared in response to Matip’s impressive stats on the ball…