Wataru Endo unleashes a more dangerous version of Liverpool

The video, which has gone viral, shows Liverpool midfielder Wataru Endo chasing after Kevin De Bruyne, winning the ball near the touchline before turning and sprinting towards the Manchester City goal as his opponent opens his arms in anger.

The departure of De Bruyne, the architect of John Stone’s opening Manchester City, shortly afterwards highlighted a shift in momentum in a game in which the ruthless Endo played a crucial role as the Reds struggled to a 1-1 draw at Anfield on Sunday. .

It was further proof that the 31-year-old number 6 has not only had a huge impact on Liverpool’s overall performance, but also in raising the standards of those around him.

Alexis Mac Allister in particular has taken on a more attacking role, successfully equalizing from the penalty spot against Manchester City and then going on to score 3 goals with a start and 3 assists in his last seven games.

If there were any lingering doubts about Endo’s suitability to stay at Liverpool after joining from Stuttgart for £16.25m last summer, his performance against the European champions certainly put them to rest.

It was a microcosm of his first season at Anfield, where he had to overcome a difficult start before flourishing in the second half. If De Bruyne was often left exposed in the first quarter, the Belgian was gone before the final whistle, thanks in large part to Endo’s performance.

Compared to Rodri, currently recognized as the best defensive midfielder in the world, the 31-year-old Spaniard overcame with his unstoppable bike and strong mentality. Endo won six of seven games, with no player from either side attempting more than four shots, and had a pass accuracy of 95%, second only to Virgil van Dijk, while also making six clearances and two interceptions.

Indeed, Endo’s willingness to consistently make advanced passes was noted by Guardiola, who later claimed that the partnership between the Japan international and Mac Allister led to subtle changes in Liverpool’s tactics, but Manchester City struggled to cope.

“It became difficult after the first half because the addition of Endo and Mac Allister gave them more passes and quality of play – before they were more direct – but without losing directness in transition..said the Manchester City boss.

Endo himself admits that his understanding of Mac Allister continues to grow. “He plays unbelievable and we always like to look for each other, especially when we have the ball,” he said. “I have a really good feeling about him.”

The Japanese is yet to lose a Premier League game in which he has started, with nine wins and three draws in 12 such games. In retrospect, his absence in February’s 3-1 Asian Cup loss to title rivals Arsenal. He has become an indispensable player for Liverpool.

“The atmosphere was great,” Endo said of Sunday’s game in an interview with Liverpool FC. “I wanted to win for our fans, but I think the result was pretty good. We only scored once but the way we played and created chances was fantastic.

We have to keep playing like before and the results will come. “The performance of the young players has been excellent. The injured players are gradually coming back, so we are in good shape at the moment.” We have to show that it matters at the end of the season. We have to play like before and win every game. ”

The increasingly tight game means Liverpool have the chance to stay in contention with Manchester City and Arsenal for the Premier League title until the final game of the season. If so, the tenacious Endo will run as hard as he did at the start of the season.




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