Manchester United left-back Luke Shaw put in a brilliant defensive display against Liverpool on Sunday as he managed to keep Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane quiet, and dealt with the pressure extremely well for the entirety of the game at Anfield.
Shaw has been in excellent form this season, particularly since United brought Alex Telles from FC Porto. On Sunday, the England international not only looked stern in defence but also played his bit part in the attack, creating two goal-scoring chances during the game. Statistically, the left-back won 100% of his tackles, had 100% long pass accuracy, completed 81% of his total passes, made eight ball recoveries and made four clearances.
📊 Luke Shaw's contribution for @ManUtd today— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) January 17, 2021
Completed 33/41 passes
Won 8/12 duels
8x possession gained
2 chances created
Man Utd are the 1st away team to keep a PL clean sheet at Liverpool since Oct 2018 pic.twitter.com/UjroJOOPVu
Reacting on his performance, former Manchester United captain Roy Keane heaped praises by saying, “The back four always worry me but they were brilliant,” Keane told Sky Sports. “Shaw was brilliant defensively and going forward.”
Even Graeme Souness hailed Shaw for how well be dealt with Liverpool's attackers.
“The front three today, for me, no sparkle, no real special moments for them," said Souness.
“Firmino didn't take part in the game a lot, Salah didn't skip past Shaw once, who was arguably the best I've seen anyone handle Salah.”
A draw for Manchester United means they still hold a three-point lead over Liverpool on the top of the table, but Manchester City's 4-0 win over Crystal Palace on Sunday now changes the complexion. They Cityzen now acquire the second spot in the tally with 35 points, two points behind United, and have a game in hand.
While the experts were bang-on with their analysis of the left-back, fans on Twitter heaped praise as well.
Luke Shaw is the only player today who can leave with his head held high. Unreal performance from him.— RiZzy🔴 (@RiZzyUTD) January 17, 2021
Luke Shaw is very underrated!— The United Stand (@UnitedStandMUFC) January 17, 2021
Manchester United have secured a deal for Alex Telles from Porto.— Brandon Edwards (@King_Edwards98) January 17, 2021
Luke Shaw: pic.twitter.com/27fliwTnuZ
Luke Shaw vs Mo Salah and Sadio Mane tonight. pic.twitter.com/CQiFc2x4Wp— 𝕱𝖆𝖎𝖟𝖆𝖆𝖓 (Fan Account) (@EliteLabile) January 17, 2021
Luke Shaw fills me with confidence. I never thought I’d ever say this few months ago— RiZzy🔴 (@RiZzyUTD) January 17, 2021
Luke Shaw #mufc outstanding. Quick, alert, great concentration. Dealt well with Mo Salah, and looked to attack, going on a couple of driving runs towards the #lfc area. Surely back in #eng contention with form such as this. #LIVMUN— Henry Winter (@henrywinter) January 17, 2021
Thankful for Luke Shaw! Thankful for the Defence! @ManUtd ❤️— AG BABY (@adekunleGOLD) January 17, 2021
The draw is probably a better result for us than them and we're still top of the league. Thought Luke Shaw was excellent again 😊❤🇾🇪— Gaynor Hammond (@HammondGaynor) January 17, 2021
If anyone mentions their deadass LB except Robertson in comparison to Luke Shaw, I'm gonna lose it.— ™ (@FergieFormula) January 18, 2021
Very easy to forget the career threatening injuries Luke Shaw has had, nearly lost his leg two years ago..Today he was absolutely outstanding, best player on the pitch, great to see! Top of the league January, who would have thought 😎 💪— Steven Poacher (@Stevie_Poacher) January 17, 2021
Will say that Luke Shaw is back to pre injury player...looking an absolute class left sided defending player...— Dave Smith (@davidsmith1932) January 17, 2021
Luke Shaw was exceptional , very good performance. He’s turned his Manchester United career around so much ❤️— Isiah Memphis Madrigal (@Realisiah1) January 17, 2021
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Paul Ellis