Jose Enrique produced a man of the match display in the 1-1 draw against Chelsea on the weekend. He was vital for Liverpool: outstanding in defence, good on the ball and a danger going forward. Using Once Football, we can look at some of his statistics from this game.
Possession and Passing
Undisputedly the best on the park, Jose Enrique had some phenomenal statistics for a player of his position, on the left of a 3-5-2. Incredibly, he saw the most possession and attempted the most passes of any player on the pitch.
Jose Enrique was pivotal for Liverpool, seeing a total of 152 seconds of possession. Liverpool’s next best was Daniel Agger with 99 seconds. Enrique also saw 16 seconds more of the ball then Eden Hazard, Chelsea’s best.
Not only did Enrique see a huge amount of the ball, he was also in very aggressive positions – seeing 46.66% of his possession in the attacking third of the pitch.
This was a key factor in the game, as it pushed Juan Mata deeper in order to assist Cesar Azpilicueta with handling ‘El Toro’.
To add to this, Enrique also attempted 81 passes (15 more than the next highest player, Joe Allen). His completion rate was commendable, completing 61 of his 81 passes. It is important to highlight the location of these passes, with a large portion of them in Chelsea’s half of the pitch.
On a negative note, in contrast to his passing and possession statistics, Enrique also lost possession the most of any player, with 21 (Johnson/Suarez were 2nd worst with 17). However, of those 21, only 6 were in Liverpool’s half, again showing how attack minded and effective Enrique was in this game.
Jose Enrique was a threat going forward for Liverpool, involved in a fascinating battle with Mata and Azpilicueta. Down the left Enrique ‘Gained Space’ for Liverpool four times in the match, with a total of 87.02 metres.
A great example of this came in the 68th minute, where he gained 24.31 metres before passing to Raheem Sterling:
He was also involved in two key attacking incidents in the second half, assisting a chance for Luis Suarez and nearly scoring a 94th minute winner.
Not only was Enrique effective going forward, he was also solid defensively. Against Chelsea’s attacking talent, Liverpool restricted them to just three shots on target with Enrique a key to this solidity.
A huge asset to Jose Enrique’s game is his strength and he used this brilliantly against Chelsea.
He also showed great positioning and awareness when defending. In the 66th minute, Chelsea counter attacked from a Liverpool corner. The ball arrived to Hazard, who was able to run at the Liverpool defence in a dangerous situation. Enrique, with the initial help of Steven Gerrard, sent Hazard towards the right corner-flag, where he then used his strength to clear the ball for a throw in.
Jose Enrique was rightly considered man of the match in this game. He was a stand-out player both offensively and defensively. His role was key to the game, pushing back Juan Mata which allowed Liverpool to maintain possession and limiting Chelsea going forward. When Chelsea did attack, Enrique was solid, regaining possession through a combination of strength and positioning.
It would have been fitting had he capped off his performance with a late winner, unfortunately Petr Cech saved and the score ended 1-1; however, it was a tremendous performance from the Spaniard.
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