Video: Nuri Sahin v. West Brom

Richard Heathcote - Getty Images

In a match full of strong performances, one of the best came from Nuri Sahin, who not only scored Liverpool's two goals but also bossed the midfield from start to finish.

His first goal may have had more than its share of luck, and his second owed much of its existence to Suso and Assaidi, but Nuri Sahin's night was far more than just Liverpool's winning margin. The goals were certainly a nice bonus, but most impressive was his confident, even dominant, performance as he bossed the midfield for ninety minutes, putting on a dynamic display and driving Liverpool forward without ever entirely forgetting the need to protect against West Brom's threat.

Sahin is never likely to be a world class destroyer—though he did make at least one exceptional tackle on Romelu Lukaku, nipping in on the big striker before he realised Sahin was there—but he clearly has a gift for distribution from a deep-lying playmaker role that Liverpool hasn't seen in years, and he seems competent enough at the back to support a more defensive-minded partner thanks to his positioning and reading of the game.

It also became increasingly clear as the match wore along that although he clearly favours his left foot, when using his right his play can remain ambitious, confident, and most importantly effective. And on either foot his comfort on the ball remains as impressive as in earlier games, though his increased tempo on the ball against West Brom made it clear he's now shaken off the rust he arrived from Real Madrid with after spending a year almost exclusively on their bench.

On a night like Wednesday's, with strong performances across the board for Liverpool, it can be hard to pinpoint any one standout. And even by highlighting Sahin's impressive night, the edges of impressive performances from those around him in midfield—and in particular Pacheco and Assaidi—can clearly be seen. Still, if success in football relies first and foremost on a solid foundation, then it's fair to say that against West Bromwich Albion it was Sahin who provided that base, and for that he deserves a large portion of any praise for the overall performance.

liverpool blog fc sbn
Video by MilanKakaBaros via the indispensable FootyLounge
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