92% pass success, 4 key passes: Liverpool maestro had Sparta on strings during Anfield romp

Liverpool were in cruise control as they eased into the Europa League quarter-finals, thrashing Sparta Prague 6-1 at Anfield to seal an 11-2 aggregate romp.

Five different players got on the scoresheet for the Reds tonight, and it briefly appeared that six had done so, although Harvey Elliott’s second-half shot from just outside the penalty area was flicked to the net by Cody Gakpo.

However, the 20-year-old still had the visitors on strings during the second 45 minutes after coming on as a half-time substitute.

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As per Sofascore, Liverpool’s number 19 completed 61 of his 66 passes on the night (92% success), won two duels, completed 100% of his dribbles and executed four key passes (second-most for the Reds behind Mo Salah’s six).

The Liverpool Echo‘s Ian Doyle hailed a ‘lively cameo’ from Elliott in his post-match player ratings, awarding the youngster 7/10.

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Elliott had played more than 500 minutes of football in an 18-day period before tonight’s match, so it seemed surprising that he was called upon at half-time with Liverpool 9-2 ahead on aggregate.

However, Jurgen Klopp’s use of substitutes this season remains shrewd as ever, with the 20-year-old showing not even the merest hint of fatigue.

Having been overlooked for the latest England squad, the youngster will have a fortnight off following the FA Cup visit to Old Trafford on Sunday.

Sparta Prague must’ve been wishing that Elliott was given the night off at Anfield, but instead the Reds’ number 19 toyed with the Czech visitors.

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