Wilfred Ndidi does everything right as Leicester City beat Liverpool 3-1
The phenomenal Wilfred Ndidi put in a shift against Liverpool.
His flaw is well known, but who is the perfect footballer? Ndidi is not chasing perfection in all areas of playing in the middle. He has mastered the art of what he knows how to do best, which is ball-winning.
It was what he did all 90 minutes as Leicester City hosted Liverpool in the first Premier League game of Saturday, February 13, 2021.
In a game in which Leicester City were on the back foot for most of the time, Ndidi's pressing in the middle kept them in it.
The Nigerian cleaned up everything that came near him, using his fine anticipation of the game to intercept passes, making clean tackles and taking balls off Liverpool players.
Liverpool's Thiago Alcantara is widely regarded as the most press-resistant midfielder in world football, but even the Spaniard could not cope with Ndidi's relentless chasing and tackling.
In the first half when Leicester City could not get a hold of Liverpool, the Nigerian was busy breaking the lines, winning balls, and setting up counter-attacking opportunities for his teammates.
He won the ball off almost everyone that came close to him-Sadio Mane, Mohammed Salah, Thiago etc. The only player that got the better of Ndidi in the game was Roberto Firmino. He evaded the Nigerian with a sharp turn in the box while getting his proper Brazilian assist, leading to the game's opener and Liverpool's only goal.
Ndidi later made up for it with a fantastic assist for Leicester's third goal of the game with a quick pass over the top to Harvey Barnes who was free on the left.
It was a perfect afternoon for the Nigerian whose reputation as one of the game's best defensive midfielders continues to soar.
He made 19 ball recoveries against Liverpool, more than any outfield player has managed in a Premier League game this season.
He also had 100% tackle success, 12 duels won, five clearances, three chances created and the assist in his ridiculous performance.
Shockingly, the 24-year-old did not get the Man of the Match award which went to Barnes. Barnes struggled for large minutes in the game and came into life when Leicester City scored the equaliser in the 78th minute.
England forward could not get Leicester City's attack going and got bested by Trent Alexander-Arnold for most of the game.
The Twitter reactions, spurred by real eye tests, will give you a clue of how they robbed Ndidi of this award.
But this wasn't what the Nigerian star played for. He never has. Everyone who knows him will tell, his real joy is seeing his team win, and with his monstrous display today, he led his team to all three points, which matters most to him.
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