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Video: Lucas v. Manchester City

lucas yaya toure tackle

His numbers speak for themselves: 69 completed passes on 75 attempts for a 92% success rate, 13 out of 16 challenges won on the ground, four out of four headers won, seven successful tackles on seven attempts, and seven interceptions.

Gael Clichy had 7 interceptions; Joleon Lescott had five successful tackles; Gareth Barry completed 69 passes but misplaced three more of his attempts for an 88% passing rate; and Yaya Toure managed the unlikely feat of also completing 69 passes on 75 attempts—though his three successful challenges to go along with a single header and tackle won pales in comparison to Lucas' numbers. It's the oft-maligned Barry, in fact, with three successful tackles, eight challenges out of 12 won, four interceptions, and two headers who had arguably the second strongest showing amongst the ten players who started the game in midfield for the two sides on Sunday.

In any case, the fairly ridiculous numbers that Lucas tallied across the board speak to his dominance on the day—quite possibly the best performance he's yet had in a Liverpool shirt after previously setting the bar last year away at Chelsea.

He made David Silva, the Premier League's player of the season to date, anonymous. He outmuscled Yaya Toure. So invisible was Samir Nasri that City at times looked as though they'd gone down to ten men long before Mario Balotelli got himself sent off through a pair of daft challenges. He even, almost, set up Luis Suarez for what would have been the winning goal through slick passing and a driving run, the striker's eventual shot being parried by the day's other top performer, Joe Hart.

At this point, really, it feels as though there's little left to say when it comes to Lucas Leiva. Just as the numbers speak for themselves, the quality of a performance like yesterday's seems entirely self-evident; equally obvious. As though it should be able to speak for itself, leaving any who remains unconvinced pitiable and beyond salvation. Beyond hope. Because if seeing him step up against Manchester City and boss their £300M midfield isn't enough to convince the scant few steadfast doubters, then there really is nothing that will. Because at this point, it's fairly clear that those scant few steadfast doubters are more worthy of ridicule, derision, and mockery than honest engagement.

If there was any doubt remaining, it now seems fairly clear that Liverpool has the best holding midfielder in England, with the only remaining questions being quite where he stands next to the world's best and just how good he might become over the next few years.

Video by MilanKakaBaros via FootyLounge

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