Everton star Richarlison has apologised for his challenge on Thiago Alcantara in Saturday's Merseyside derby.

Richarlison was shown a straight red card in the 90th minute of the 2-2 draw at Goodison Park, having lunged in on Liverpool playmaker Thiago, who was making his first Premier League start.

His dismissal looked to have cost Everton when Jordan Henderson netted in stoppage time, only for VAR to controversially disallow the goal for offside.

In his post-match comments, Jurgen Klopp suggested the severity of the injury sustained by Thiago in the challenge was unknown, though revealed: "It looks not good."

Richarlison, who hit the post with a header midway through the second half, has subsequently issued an apology to Thiago, though he insisted no harm was intended.

"Everyone who knows my background knows that I was never a violent player," Richarlison wrote in a statement issued on his official website.

"What happened today was an accident from sheer over-dedication. I did not enter that dispute with the intention of hurting Thiago. 

"When I saw that the collision was going to happen, I picked up my foot and hit him with my knee, which was inevitable due to the speed of the play.

"I already sent a message to him apologising and I also do it here publicly. I hope he hasn't been hurt and that everything is fine. 

"I also apologise to my team-mates, my club and my fans for leaving them with one less [player] at the end of the game. Unfortunately, there is nothing I can do to change what happened, other than to reflect, work and move on."

Richarlison's dismissal was the 22nd in a Premier League clash between Liverpool and Everton, who have been shown 15 red cards.

On top of a possible injury for Thiago, Liverpool also have concerns over Virgil van Dijk, who was forced off after a challenge from Jordan Pickford – who escaped punishment – early on.

Thiago Alcantara has been handed his first Liverpool start for the Merseyside derby against Everton, while Sadio Mane is also in the line-up. 

Liverpool duo Thiago and Mane tested positive for coronavirus prior to the international break but after a hopeful update from manager Jurgen Klopp ahead of the game, they were both been named in the starting XI. 

Midfielder Thiago, who signed from Bayern Munich, made a stunning debut off the bench for the Premier League champions in their 2-0 win at Chelsea on September 20 but has not played since. 

Joel Matip and Jordan Henderson are also back in the team at Goodison Park as part of four changes from the Liverpool side humbled in a 7-2 loss at Aston Villa last time out. 

Naby Keita was ruled out for the game due to a fitness issue, with Diogo Jota, Georginio Wijnaldum and Joe Gomez dropping to the substitutes. 

League leaders Everton bring in Allan and Andre Gomes to replace Tom Davies and Gylfi Sigurdsson from the team who beat Brighton and Hove Albion 4-2 on October 3. 

Everton have won all four of their games to start the Premier League season but are winless in 19 top-flight meetings with rivals Liverpool, their previous victory coming in October 2010. 

Thiago Alcantara and Liverpool are a perfect match, according to fellow Reds midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum. 

Wijnaldum, who is in the last year of his Liverpool contract and was linked with a move to Barcelona, saw his future come under scrutiny when Thiago was signed from Bayern Munich last month. 

The Netherlands international ultimately stayed at Anfield, though, and believes his new team-mate is an exceptional addition. 

Thiago enjoyed a stellar debut off the bench in Liverpool's win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge - he had 75 successful passes, the most by any player to have played a maximum of 45 minutes in a Premier League match since Opta began collecting passing data in 2003. 

However, the Spaniard has since had to wait for a first Liverpool start after a positive coronavirus test ruled him out of league and EFL Cup matches with Arsenal, along with the shock 7-2 loss to Aston Villa prior to the international break. 

"Everything impressed me," Wijnaldum said about Thiago to Liverpool's website. 

"I saw him play for years now, I played against him when we played against Bayern, and the awareness he has on the pitch, the confidence he has on the ball and the way he manages to let the team play is unbelievable. 

"He's such a quality player that is going to make this team even better than we were before. So, I'm really happy, everyone is really happy, to have him here. He is also happy to be here. 

"I think it's a perfect match: Liverpool and Thiago."

As well as Thiago, Liverpool signed defender Kostas Tsimikas and forward Diogo Jota during the transfer window, while teenage goalkeeper Marcelo Pitaluga has also joined. 

Wijnaldum added: "I'm really happy with the signings. They are also good personalities, good people – they totally fit into the team we have. 

"Brilliant, class – class players. They already showed at their previous clubs that they are really good players and we are really happy to have them here, because they make the squad better. 

"With them, we have a bigger squad; I think you need that during a season. 

"But the most important thing is that they are quality players and that makes the team even better than we were before."

Liverpool midfielder Thiago Alcantara has tested positive for coronavirus, the Premier League club announced on Tuesday.

Thiago missed Monday's 3-1 win over Arsenal and, according to Liverpool, has shown minor symptoms.

The club added that the Spain international is "in good health" and that his condition is improving.

First-team doctor Jim Moxon said: "It is the choice of each individual whether they reveal publicly the outcome of a COVID-19 test.

"We have followed all the protocols to the letter and Thiago is OK. He will be self-isolating now as per the guidelines and hopefully he'll be back with us soon."

Liverpool completed the signing of Thiago from Bayern on September 18, the former Barcelona man taking on a new challenge in the Premier League having won the treble with Hansi Flick's German giants last season.

He enjoyed a stellar debut in Liverpool's 2-0 win against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge after coming on as a half-time substitute.

Thiago had 75 successful passes, the most by any player to have played a maximum of 45 minutes in a Premier League match since Opta began collecting passing data in 2003.

He is set to miss Liverpool's EFL Cup tie with Arsenal on Thursday and the Premier League clash with Aston Villa on Sunday, the last game for Jurgen Klopp's side before the international break.

His positive test also appears to put Thiago's selection in the squad for Spain's friendly with Portugal and UEFA Nations League games with Switzerland and Ukraine in doubt.

Liverpool will resume their season after that break with a Merseyside derby trip to Everton on October 17.

Liverpool midfielder Thiago Alcantara has tested positive for coronavirus, the Premier League club announced on Tuesday.

Former Liverpool defender Emiliano Insua believes the Premier League champions are primed for a new era of dominance following the signing of star Thiago Alcantara.

Liverpool prised Thiago from Bayern Munich in a deal worth up to £25million earlier this month, after the Spaniard won seven successive Bundesliga crowns and the Champions League among other honours during his time in Germany.

Thiago impressed on debut in Liverpool's 2-0 win over Chelsea on September 20, the 29-year-old replacing Jordan Henderson at half-time and completing more passes (75) than any Blues player managed in the entire match at Stamford Bridge.

It was also the most by a Premier League player to have played a maximum of 45 minutes since full passing data became available in 2003-04 and Insua, who spent four years at Anfield from 2007, hailed ex-Barcelona star Thiago and Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool as they look to claim more trophies this season.

"Liverpool were the best team last year in the world," LA Galaxy full-back Insua told Stats Perform News. "They kept almost the same team.

"Now with Thiago and [Diogo] Jota, they want to be the best team in the world this year. It's a big signing for them. Thiago was showing at Bayern that he is almost the best midfielder in the world.

"It's really important for Liverpool to keep growing and to keep the level they were at last season. Of course, I think they will maintain the same level this season."

After being crowned European champions in 2018-19, Liverpool finally ended their Premier League drought last term – the club's first league title since 1990.

Liverpool cruised to top-flight glory, with full-backs Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold instrumental to their success.

Fellow full-back Insua, who also played for Atletico Madrid and Stuttgart before joining MLS side the Galaxy this year, praised the duo but highlighted Liverpool's collective quality.

"They are the one of the best right-back and left-back in the world but they have a really good team also," the 31-year-old former Argentina international added.

"In my opinion, you can be a good left-back or right-back when the team is helping you to work. Everyone at Liverpool defends and they also have the best centre-back [Virgil van Dijk] in the world. One of the most important players in the team.

"For me, it's more teamwork and Liverpool were showing they were defending really well. Of course in attack, they have great quality. But they have one of the best left-backs in the world."

Mikel Arteta has great admiration for the way Liverpool have combined their "vision and strategy" with smart recruitment to bring success and subsequent riches to the club, as he looks to oversee a similar resurgence at Arsenal.

Liverpool endured a difficult period between the years of 2009 and 2016, as they finished in the top four of the Premier League just once in seven seasons.

That solitary campaign saw Brendan Rodgers almost win the title, but they slipped up late on and could only finish as high as sixth the following season – he was then sacked in October 2015.

While Jurgen Klopp could only take them to 8th in 2015-16, it was clear that the Reds were building in the right direction, with successive fourth-placed finishes following, before Champions League success in 2018-19 preceded a first Premier League title last term.

Arsenal now find themselves in a comparable situation to the early days of the Klopp era, having failed to finish in the top four in each of the past four seasons but seemingly making positive steps under Arteta, who replaced Unai Emery in December last year.

Liverpool are now arguably the standard-bearers in England and just this month managed to lure one of the world's elite midfielders – Thiago Alcantara – to Anfield, and Arteta feels such circumstances have come about through years of patience and good decision-making.

"We are in different moments, as clubs, for the success they've had over the years and how stable they've been in the Champions League and Premier League," Arteta said ahead of the two teams' meeting at Anfield on Monday.

"We just try to get the right momentum by doing deals we believe are going to make us stronger and with the resources we have at the moment, and try to push as hard as we can as a team to do it as quick as possible.

"[Winning trophies helps] give you the financial power, absolutely, but as well you have to recruit the right players and Liverpool have done both.

"They generated finances from performances on the pitch, how they've grown as a club over the years and because they have implemented a vision and strategy that is really clear.

"That is bringing them success with a lot of good decisions."

Thiago Alcantara will take Liverpool to "another level" as Jurgen Klopp seeks to build a new era of dominance at Anfield.

That is the view of Reds team-mate Sadio Mane, who was thrilled to see the midfielder swap European champions Bayern Munich for the 2019-20 Premier League winners.

It is a signing that has captured the imagination of Liverpool fans and players alike, with Mane – who also welcomed Diogo Jota and Kostas Tsimikas – delighted to have the Spain international on board.

"I think not only the fans are excited to see Thiago," he told the club's official website.

"For sure, especially me and my team-mates were really happy to have this kind of quality in our squad. It only makes us better.

"I can see from day one in training and the game against Chelsea what he is doing. And I'm sure he will take us to another level, for sure.

"And we're looking forward to seeing Kostas and Diogo Jota as well, who is a really good signing for us. I'm really happy to have him as well.

"They are good players and they will also take us to another level, which for us is something incredible, and for the fans as well."

Mane scored both goals in the 2-0 win over Chelsea which marked Thiago's debut off the bench, and it was a lively cameo from the newcomer.

Thiago's 75 completed passes represented the highest tally any player has recorded in a maximum of 45 minutes in the Premier League since Opta began collecting such data in 2003.

He will hope to catch the eye again when Arsenal head to Merseyside on Monday, with Klopp's men having also beaten Leeds United to make it a 100 per cent start to their title defence.

Jurgen Klopp has described Mikel Arteta as an "exceptional football manager" as he targets his first win over Arsenal since the Spaniard launched his north London revolution. 

Liverpool manager Klopp saw his championship-winning side fall to a rare Premier League loss in July when they faced Arteta's Arsenal at Emirates Stadium. 

Arsenal then inflicted a penalty shoot-out defeat on Liverpool in the Community Shield at the end of August, leaving Klopp still searching for that elusive victory over Pep Guardiola's former assistant. 

On Monday, the teams resume their intriguing recent rivalry at Anfield, and while Klopp is confident Liverpool can extend their 100 per cent start to the season, he can see Arteta instilling a culture at Arsenal that is built for success. 

After nine months at the helm, a club that was blighted by instability before Arteta's arrival looks to have a firm footing and a sense of direction. 

"Mikel Arteta has shown in a pretty short period of time that he seems to be an exceptional football manager. The structure of the team is absolutely exceptional," Klopp said. 

"You can see the balance between defence and offence is really good. There's good organisation, freedom for the players and he uses the players in the right position. 

"Since he's been there, he's done a pretty impressive job, changed the whole mood in the club. I don't think a lot of people thought he would have won any competition, but he did that by winning the FA Cup and also the English 'Super Cup' [the Community Shield]. 

"That’s pretty impressive. So it's a tough, tough opponent.

"They defend properly, all the players are involved. They defend in a 5-4-1 which is a pretty tricky situation. I can say a lot of positive things about Arsenal because it's true, but I think we still have a chance on Monday night." 

Liverpool will be without captain Jordan Henderson for the Arsenal game after he was substituted in the win at Chelsea last Sunday because of a thigh problem. 

That could open the door for Thiago Alcantara to make his home debut from the start, following his arrival from Bayern Munich. 

Klopp was cautious on that prospect, yet the recent Champions League winner would be an obvious candidate given how well he performed after replacing Henderson at Stamford Bridge. 

"We will see," Klopp said. "We have a few days to train, so we will see how we set up. I have an idea, but why should I make a decision today? But he’s in contention, so let’s see."

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has heaped praise on Liverpool signing Thiago Alcantara ahead of two matches between the teams in the space of four days.

The Gunners, who have won each of their three matches in all competitions this season, face the Premier League champions at Anfield on Monday, before an EFL Cup tie at the same venue on Thursday.

Thiago came off the substitutes' bench to make an impressive debut for Liverpool in their win at Chelsea last weekend, Jurgen Klopp's men also coming into the double-header on the back of a 100 per cent start.

Midfielder Thiago signed from Bayern Munich for around £25million and had also been linked with Arsenal and other English clubs, though Arteta would not discuss his own side's reported interest.

"Yes, I think he is a great signing for Liverpool," he said about Thiago at his pre-match news conference. 

"Incredible personality, great talent, very special, great qualities to play in midfield.

"We don't discuss the things we try and do in the market, but I like him from my time in Barcelona."

Discussing Arsenal's wins over Liverpool in their last two meetings, Arteta added: "The games we played at the Emirates [in July] and the Community Shield were very different.

"I think it will be different again. We know the standards they have set in this league and how consistent they have been.

"They dominate almost every aspect of the game. We need to compete really well and hopefully the boys are ready to do that on Monday.

"There is some variability depending on what they do, how we have to control those aspects, how we can attack in different ways as well.

"It is like quick waves all the time with them, without much time to breathe. It is a really quick game, it doesn't see long sequences of passes against them. We have to be at our best, that is for sure.
 
"It is normally difficult enough to play the same team in four days and for the players as well to adapt. Obviously, the first game has a big impact on the second one and it is really tough to beat the same opponent twice in that short period.
 
"When you talk about Liverpool that challenge is much bigger but I just want to focus on Monday.

"Let's try to get the best possible preparation against them, go there, and most importantly have the belief that we can go there and win. We all have to believe that we are capable of doing that.

"We know the challenge ahead of us, so let's embrace it, let's go for it."

Thiago Alcantara has an unparalleled level of ambition in his game, according to Liverpool goalkeeper Adrian.

After signing from Bayern Munich in a deal worth £25million last week, Thiago put on a passing clinic as he made his debut in Liverpool's 2-0 victory over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

The 29-year-old Spain international replaced Jordan Henderson at half-time and completed more passes (75) than any Chelsea player in the entire match – it was also the most by a Premier League player to have played a maximum of 45 minutes since full passing data became available in 2003-04.

His vision and ability with both feet has hugely impressed compatriot Adrian, who has been blown away by what he has seen from Liverpool's new midfielder in training.

Adrian told Liverpool's official website: "You can see that he's a different player. He uses right and left like the same leg, he has ambition like totally another person from another planet. You can see him doing passes that nobody sees and shooting with that quality, with that spin he has in both legs.

"Also he's a hard worker – playing in midfield for us is going to help him. For sure, everyone is trying to help him to adapt as quick as possible to our system, to the movement of the players on the pitch but he's clever enough to adapt to play quick.

"You can see him now around Melwood [Liverpool's training ground] like this is the new home of him – the first one coming in, leaving as the last one."

Adrian added: "Thiago is a world-class player. I knew him before when we went to the national team and because we have a few friends between us. He's a top player, he has quality, he has [a] great pass, great shot, vision of the game – a different one.

"So he gives us a lot of help. This season is going to be tough and he gives us that quality that he has.

"Obviously part of this is a great player, fits really well into the dressing room, speaks very good English, so no problem at all. I think he's going to enjoy this season, the first season with us."

It did not take long for Thiago Alcantara to show the Premier League exactly what he can do on his Liverpool debut.

The new Reds midfielder, signed just two days before the trip to Chelsea, came off the bench at half-time at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

Champions Liverpool ran out 2-0 winners against the Blues' 10 men, with Thiago quickly finding his passing rhythm in the centre of the pitch.

Opta shared after the match that Thiago had completed 74 passes, more than any other Premier League star when playing a half or less since detailed passing data began in 2003-04.

But there was more to the former Bayern Munich man's bow than that one statistic, as Opta's advanced metrics allow us to explore...

STANDOUT STAT TOPS SCHOLES

The list of other players to have managed 60 or more passes in 45 minutes or fewer in the Premier League shows just how impressive Thiago's achievement was.

Andreas Christensen (66 passes) - for Chelsea against Sheffield United in July - is perhaps a slight surprise in second place, as is Jose Fonte (62) - for Southampton against Bournemouth in 2015 - in third. But the rest of the names in this elite group are far more predictable.

Paul Pogba is one of three players to have tallied 61 successful passes in such a cameo, doing so after replacing Scott McTominay in Manchester United's 4-1 win over Newcastle United on Boxing Day last year.

The other two stars to reach the number did so in quite staggering circumstances, meanwhile.

Yaya Toure and Paul Scholes each totalled 61 passes in significantly less than a half, the Manchester City man incredibly playing only the final 17 minutes of a 7-2 win at home to Stoke City in 2017.

United pass master Scholes was on the pitch for a little longer - 28 minutes - as he helped Alex Ferguson's side to clinch a record-breaking 19th title at Blackburn Rovers in 2011.

Coincidentally, as City stole that crown 12 months later, Toure played 60 passes in the first half against Queens Park Rangers despite battling a hamstring injury.

Thiago's feat, while perhaps not quite as impressive as Toure's or Scholes', puts him in esteemed company just 45 minutes into his Premier League career.

 

ALREADY LEADING LIVERPOOL

That final tally of 74 successful passes from 82 attempts was more than any Chelsea player managed in the entire 90 minutes on Sunday. But some of Thiago's numbers also led a dominant Liverpool team.

The Spain international attempted 63 passes in the opposition half and completed 56 - both numbers were the most of any individual at Stamford Bridge.

The contrast from the first half with captain Jordan Henderson was evident, as the man Thiago replaced attempted 24 passes in this regard and completed just 16 - albeit one failed effort prompted Christensen's red card.

Henderson and 86th-minute substitute Takumi Minamino were the only visiting players not to complete 20 passes in the Chelsea half, while Mateo Kovacic - 14 of 16 attempts successful in Liverpool's half - was some way short as the hosts' top performer.

No team-mate could rival Thiago, though.

NO GOALS, NO ASSISTS, NO PROBLEM

Despite his control of the game, Thiago's passes were unlikely to appear on highlight reels of the Liverpool victory. Yet Jurgen Klopp knew what he was getting.

"I liked it, I liked his game a lot," the manager told Sky Sports. "Defensively was tricky for him because we set it up differently, but offensively, with the ball, yeah, that's him. He wants to pass the ball."

Goals and assists are not really Thiago's game. He trailed Henderson in both regards in his final season in Germany.

But the midfielder is found at the heart of almost any move, having been involved in 141 sequences that led to a shot for Bayern last term.

Thiago played a part in the build-up to five open-play shots on Sunday, including the first goal as he traded passes with Sadio Mane and then pushed the ball on for Naby Keita to switch the attack to the right flank.

Indeed, no player made more forward passes in the opposition half than Thiago's 25, while the variety of his balls opened up the pitch as he completed a game-high 10 long passes.

Liverpool fans will now be relishing the opportunity to see what their new man is capable of over a full 90 minutes - potentially starting against Arsenal on Monday.

Liverpool ruthlessly capitalised on playing against 10 men in the second half as they eased to victory over Chelsea on Sunday.

The reigning champions have won two from two at the start of the new campaign, as is also the case for Leicester City after they saw off Burnley in the late kick-off.

Brighton and Hove Albion are up and running after a worthwhile journey north, while Tottenham leaned heavily on two of their superstars to put Southampton to the sword.

With help from Opta data, here is a recap of the four fixtures to take place on another busy day in the Premier League.

Chelsea 0-2 Liverpool: Thiago makes debut as champions triumph

A close contest at Stamford Bridge changed complexion when Andreas Christensen was sent off in first-half stoppage time.

Sadio Mane, the player fouled by the defender, went on to score twice after the break, making him just the third Liverpool player to get a brace of goals at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League era. The others? Steve McManaman, back in December 1995, and Philippe Coutinho, who did so in October 2015.

However, the scorer was overshadowed somewhat by new team-mate Thiago Alcantara, who replaced the injured Jordan Henderson at half-time having only completed his move on Friday.

Still, the Spaniard managed to complete more passes (75) than any Chelsea player in the entire match. Indeed, since full passing data became available for the Premier League in the 2003-04 season, his total number of successful passes is the most by a player who featured for a maximum of 45 minutes.

Jorginho missed a penalty for Chelsea too, his first failure in nine attempts for the Blues in all competitions. Alisson not only produced his first save from the spot for Liverpool since joining the club but also his first save of the season.

Southampton 2-5 Tottenham: Bale force! Son and Kane steal the show 

Saturday was all about a returning hero for Spurs fans, as the club confirmed Gareth Bale was coming back from Real Madrid on a season-long loan. Less than 24 hours later, Son Heung-min became the headline act for Tottenham, aided by Harry Kane playing a sublime supporting role in a comprehensive win.

Son scored four of his side's goals at St Mary's Stadium. All of them were set up by Kane, who became just the sixth player to assist four goals in a single Premier League game. No Englishman had previously achieved the feat.

To put that into context, Kane – who also scored Spurs' fifth in the rout – only provided two assists in the 2019-20 season, albeit he did miss a large chunk of that due to injury. 

All this came after Southampton had taken the lead, though their failure to hold onto the advantage given to them by Danny Ings should hardly be a surprise. Since Ralph Hasenhuttl took charge in December 2018, no side has squandered more points from winning positions in the Premier League. 

Still, this was a day to admire the victors, not the vanquished. Son and Kane were simply too much for Southampton; the dynamic duo have now combined for more league goals (24) than any other pairing in the competition since the South Korean joined in August 2015. 

Newcastle United 0-3 Brighton and Hove Albion: Seagulls soar thanks to Maupay

What a difference a week makes. Newcastle United were so impressive in their opener at West Ham, while Brighton were well beaten at home by Chelsea. However, the Seagulls' long journey provided plenty of positives, Graham Potter's team running out comfortable winners against accommodating hosts who failed to muster a shot on target. 

Neal Maupay had Brighton two ahead inside seven minutes, the earliest brace for a player in the Premier League since Manchester City's Edin Dzeko scored twice in the opening four minutes against Norwich City back in December 2012. 

Maupay also set up Aaron Connolly for a third goal late on, with the only disappointment for the visitors the late red card shown to the impressive Yves Bissouma, who had more touches (65) than any other player while also recording a 92 per cent passing accuracy. 

Leicester City 4-2 Burnley: Flying Foxes make it two from two

Could history be repeated this term? Leicester have won their first two games of a Premier League season for the first time since their famous title-winning campaign in 2015-16.

For Brendan Rodgers, there was a personal milestone. The Foxes boss recorded his 100th victory in the Premier League, becoming the 23rd different manager to reach a century and needing 210 games. Alex Ferguson (162 games), Kenny Dalglish (197) and Kevin Keegan (209) are the only British managers that did it faster.

James Justin scored his first league goal for Leicester while Harvey Barnes was also on target, meaning he has now been directly involved in five goals in his past three Premier League games against Burnley.

The visitors did not help themselves with Erik Pieters' own goal, Burnley's sixth in the Premier League since the start of the 2018-19 season; the most of any current team in the competition.

After an impressive close season in the transfer market aiming to bridge the gap to the top of the Premier League, Chelsea got an uneasy look at how that chasm appears on the field as Liverpool eased to a 2-0 win at Stamford Bridge.

Even before Andreas Christensen's game-changing red card for a professional foul on Sadio Mane during first-half stoppage time, Jurgen Klopp's champions had dictated matters.

That state of affairs only became more skewed after half-time as Thiago Alcantara announced his Premier League arrival with a passing clinic against depleted opponents.

Mane gave his own lesson in clinical opportunism with both goals, even if Kepa Arrizabalaga's problems were almost as influential - on both Chelsea's demise and, in all likelihood, his immediate future.

Frank Lampard claimed afterwards that the 90 minutes were not without plus points for the Blues, with another lively Timo Werner showing giving a tantalising indication of how much the Germany forward might enjoy England's top flight.

PASS MASTER THIAGO MARKS HIS ARRIVAL

Losing skipper Jordan Henderson at the interval might have compromised Liverpool's strong position in the match, but former Barcelona and Bayern Munich playmaker Thiago demonstrated the extra dimension he can lend to Klopp's winning machine, albeit in a match where the pattern was already established by Chelsea's numerical disadvantage.

Thiago completed 75 passes of 83 attempted (90.4 per cent), more than any Chelsea player over the course of the contest. Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic - the closest thing to Thiago equivalents in Lampard's line-up - were both substituted in the 79th minute having completed 43 and 58 passes respectively.

Since Opta began collecting full passing data in 2003-04, the Spain international's 75 passes are the most made by a player to have played a maximum of 45 minutes.

Thiago's impact helped Liverpool to improve their 53.5 per cent share of first-half possession to 68 per cent in the second period. The visitors outstripped their 301 first-half passes with 458 after the break.

ALISSON UNDERLINES TALE OF TWO KEEPERS

Despite the free-scoring nature of the season, Opta's metric tracking errors leading directly to goals has only recorded three overall. Kepa is now responsible for two of those.

As Edouard Mendy seemingly closes in on a move to Stamford Bridge from Rennes, the Spain goalkeeper's race appears to be run.

At the other end of their home pitch, Chelsea's hierarchy were able to look ruefully at how things might have panned out. Alisson was understood to be a target to replace Thibaut Courtois before Liverpool got their man.

The Brazil number one made three saves, including an exceptional stop from Jorginho's 75th-minute penalty.

It was the first time Jorginho failed from the spot in nine attempts for Chelsea, excluding shoot-outs, and Alisson's first such stop from three faced since signing from Roma in 2018. In this age of the VAR keeping an eagle eye on keepers straying from their goal line, it was no mean feat.

WERNER SOUNDS ANOTHER WARNING AS MANE SETS STANDARD

As was the case when Jorginho converted his spot-kick against Brighton and Hove Albion, Werner drew a foul in the area to land the opportunity. The former RB Leipzig star is the first player to win a penalty in each of his first two Premier League appearances since Stamford Bridge favourite Eden Hazard back in 2012.

An early dart inside from the left channel suggested Werner might get plenty of joy out of makeshift centre-back Fabinho. However, the Brazilian's four tackles, four interceptions and 12 instances of gaining possession were the best of those numbers returned by any Liverpool player.

Werner's pace and directness is a huge part of his appeal and he has been quick to bring those attributes to Chelsea. His 20 sprints were more than any other player on Lampard's side, with his top speed of 32.27 kilometres per hour quicker than any of his team-mates.

If the £47.5million acquisition can hit the heights that have become customary for Mane, Lampard will be a very happy man indeed.

The Senegal star has scored in each of his past three Premier League away games for Liverpool and his match-winning brace was the 13th time he has converted more than once in a top-flight fixture.

Jurgen Klopp acknowledges Thiago Alcantara will need time to adapt to Liverpool's system but felt the 2-0 win over Chelsea was the "perfect" opportunity for a debut.

Thiago signed from Bayern Munich this week in an initial £20million transfer and was named on the bench at Stamford Bridge.

When captain Jordan Henderson had to be replaced at half-time, the Spain midfielder was introduced for his Premier League bow and played his part as Sadio Mane scored twice against Chelsea's 10 men.

Thiago completed 75 passes, more than any Chelsea player managed in the entire match and more than any Premier League player when on the pitch for only 45 minutes since Opta passing data began in 2003-04.

On the other hand, he conceded a penalty for a foul on Timo Werner, but Alisson saved Jorginho's spot-kick and Klopp was pleased overall with the performance of his new man.

"It was top timing," Klopp told Sky Sports. "He trained. He had eight days off or whatever. He played with Spain, he trained with Munich, he's fit, so that's not a problem.

"But of course, he's not used to our things. We play a different system, but that's how it is, that's how football is. You need to get used to your mates next to you.

"But then when they have one man down, it's pretty much the perfect game. And with Hendo feeling a little bit, we had to react and we decided to bring him on.

"I liked it, I liked his game a lot. Defensively was tricky for him because we set it up differently, but offensively, with the ball, yeah, that's him. He wants to pass the ball."

Thiago played at the base of the midfield, where Fabinho would usually be stationed.

The Brazilian was shifted into the centre of defence due to injuries to Joe Gomez and Joel Matip, and Klopp was delighted with the way he dealt with Werner.

"Timo is a top player. With space, there is no real football tactic that can defend him when he has the ball," Klopp said.

"But Fabinho obviously is a pretty good challenger, really good in one-on-one situations. He did outstandingly well.

"He can play the position and obviously today enjoyed it a lot, so it was good, a really good performance. If Sadio doesn't score two goals, I think a man of the match contender would have been Fabinho."

Thiago was followed into Anfield by Diogo Jota, signed from Wolves, and Klopp was asked to reflect on a positive week for the champions.

"We've had a lot of good weeks in the past, to be honest, but this was a good one as well," he replied.

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