Liverpool moved to five points clear at the top of the Premier League table with an emphatic 4-0 win away at Bournemouth at the Vitality on Sunday.
The Reds now have cup clashes with Fulham and Norwich to come over the next seven days as they get a break from the rigours of top-flight action.
They did, however, make fairly light work of their league duty on Sunday with an assured and impressive showing – particularly in the second half.
There were a number of superb performers for the Reds on the south coast, including the two scorers – Darwin Nunez and Diogo Jota – but one player who went under the radar with his display was central midfielder Alexis Mac Allister.
Nunez and Jota’s match-winning brilliance
With Mohamed Salah away on international duty, Liverpool’s other forwards had to step up and that is exactly what they did as Nunez and Jota ruthlessly dispatched the Cherries during the second half.
The first goal came via a composed finish from the Uruguay international, who brilliantly ghosted away from his marker to finish coolly from his Portuguese teammate’s pass.
That was then followed by two strikes from the former Wolverhampton Wanderers star. The first was a clinical near post-finish after Cody Gakpo slotted him through and the second came after a clever cutback from Connor Bradley allowed him – after an initial missed strike – to rifle the ball into the far corner.
Nunez made it four with his second goal in stoppage time as he stretched to poke Joe Gomez’s deep cross into the bottom corner at the far post.
Mac Allister’s vital contributions
As well as Jota and Nunez, Mac Allister was sublime for Liverpool and played a key role in the victory with his showing in the middle of the park.
He was Jurgen Klopp’s unsung hero as the former Brighton star quietly went about his business. No thrills or spectacular moments from the World Cup winner but plenty of little moments that all added together to form a complete performance.
Mac Allister constantly battled hard in midfield to ensure that Bournemouth did not get the better of them in transition when the ball broke loose, as he won 14 of his 19 duels throughout the game.
Alexis Mac Allister
Vs Bournemouth (via Sofascore)
Ground duels won
Aerial duels won
As you can see in the table above, the Argentina international was outstanding defensively with 12 tackles and interceptions combined to break up attacks from the hosts.
This prevented Alisson from being worked as much as he may have been had the central midfielder not stepped in on numerous occasions to win possession back.
Meanwhile, his midfield partners Curtis Jones and Harvey Elliott managed nine tackles and interceptions combined between them, which illustrates how impressive Mac Allister’s defensive contributions were.
Along with his strength out of possession, the 25-year-old whiz created four chances for his teammates at the top end of the pitch – four more than Jones and Elliott combined (zero).
This shows that the Reds maestro was impressive with his work on and off the ball throughout the game at the base of Klopp’s midfield, which is why he was the unsung hero as Jota and Nunez stole the headlines with their respective braces to win the match but he was just as good with his vital contributions in and out of possession.