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72 passes, 2 tackles, 7 clearances – Liverpool have an unsung hero who’s ‘getting better every week’

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(Photo by PETER POWELL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Liverpool

72 passes, 2 tackles, 7 clearances – Liverpool have an unsung hero who’s ‘getting better every week’

Liverpool made it three Premier League wins in a row after battling to a 2-1 win over Aston Villa at Anfield on Saturday afternoon.

Jurgen Klopp’s Reds had to come from behind after the prolific Ollie Watkins opened the scoring for the visitors in the 43rd minute.

The Villa summer signing made it four goals in two games against Liverpool after finding a yard around Ozan Kabak before firing home.

Liverpool v Aston Villa - Premier League

(Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Roberto Firmino then thought he had equalised minutes later, only for VAR to rule his goal due to offside in the build-up.

However, Liverpool did succeed in drawing level in the 57th minute, Mohamed Salah netting on the rebound after Emiliano Martinez had palmed away Andrew Robertson’s effort.

And deep into injury time, Trent Alexander-Arnold was on hand to hammer the ball into the net after Anwar El Ghazi failed to clear his lines following another superb Martinez save.

It was a much-needed tonic for Liverpool after the Real Madrid loss in midweek as several previously struggling players looked back to their best.

One player who has firmly been on the rise this season, and who deserves a lot of credit, is Nathaniel Phillips.

 

He began the season as a fringe player but has become a key member of Klopp’s first team, shining in the absence of Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez.

Phillips was superb against Villa, Whoscored deeming him the Star Man of the match with a 7.85 rating.

Defensively, he was solid – two tackles, seven clearances and 10 aerial duels won – and he also impressed in terms of passing and even attacking play.

Phillips completed 62 of his 72 passes, created three chances and took 85 touches of the ball, according to LFC Stats.

It’s been a difficult season for Liverpool but the 24-year-old academy graduate has certainly been one of the main positives from this campaign.

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