Watch: Lucas Leiva v. Newcastle

Clive Brunskill

Against Newcastle, Lucas had one of his best games since returning from injury—so we're taking the chance to take a look back at it with an every-touch compilation of his performance.

Philippe Coutinho's attacking flair may have taken the headlines following Saturday's 6-0 routing of Newcastle, but with that kind of a scoreline there was always bound to be more than a few supporting performances that were nearly as strong. Up front, Daniel Sturridge was mostly effective in replacing Luis Suarez; in defence, Jose Enrique and Daniel Agger both carried the ball confidently though they remained largely unpressured in their own end; and in between Jordan Henderson put in another performance arguing he belongs in the starting eleven.

It was also a match that saw one of Lucas' stronger performances of the season—the sort that fans could point to as saying the Brazilian holding midfielder was back at his best. For Lucas at times, his return after nearly an entire year away from football thanks to a pair of injuries has been inconsistent. Rarely a liability, he has nevertheless struggled at times to come close to the kind of form he showed before tearing his ACL against Chelsea in the League Cup two winters back. Of course, given he had been the club's best player for an 18-month stretch at the time of his injury, getting back to that level after an extended absence was always going to be a struggle.

And even with those struggles to return consistently to his best, at times he has come very, very close to it. Against Newcastle on Saturday, then, was one of those times. Newcastle's growing indifference as the scoreline shifted increasingly out of their favour may have helped, but it was Lucas' strong play from the opening whistle that helped to get them to that point in the first place, as along with his typically sound covering play he showed some of his best distribution of the season and was at the base of many of Liverpool's best attacking moves throughout the afternoon.

He will likely face tougher opponents, and he will likely still have a few less than stellar performances as he works to return to his pre-injury best, but along with the flashy attacking play of Coutinho and Sturridge and Henderson, it was good to get another example—and there have been others since his return—of Lucas at something at least very close to his best.

Video by LFC Tiki Taka
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