With Daniel Agger returning to full fitness, everyone at Liverpool would have been in good spirits knowing that their vice captain, and most probably their best defender, is back for good. After two unfortunate and highly controversial losses in a row, the reds were back on track with a 2-0 win against Hull at Anfield, returning to top four territory.
After the game, Agger spoke of his delight at leading the Kop to victory at home in the absence of injured Steven Gerrard. Agger mentioned that it was a big thing for him and that he was equally pleased that he gave the home supporters even more reason to celebrate their new year. It’s no surprise that captaining Liverpool was an honour for the Danish international, who has “YNWA” tattooed on his knuckles.
The Great Dane
Agger, captain of the Denmark national side, is undoubtedly one of the best central defenders in world football, hailed as an excellent reader of the game and comfortable on the ball. Being 6 ft 3, Agger is similar in stature to that of a Great Dane, and he made his presence known against the Tigers, winning 2 out of 3 (88%) ground duels and all 5 of his aerial duels.
The Danish man led by example at the heart of the defence, completing all of his 13 attempted clearances, 10 of which were headers. He made 2 blocks and provoked 2 of his opposition’s offside runs. He also shielded the ball away from danger and out of play once. As you can see below, these stats are better than any of his defensive stats in previous games.
Agger did not only put in a fantastic defensive display as he made the second most amount of passes on the pitch, completing 60 out of 67 (90%). Out of these passes, half of them were forward passes, something Brendan Rodgers wants his players all over the pitch to do. 46 of his passes were made in his own half and only 13 in the attacking half. Agger also completed 6 out of 11 long balls (55%), making 4 passes into the final third, and attempted one through ball.
Agger had a total of 86 touches on the ball, second highest on the pitch behind Lucas (88), but also lost possession 9 times. However, he did do some making up for it, recovering the ball 5 times, three times in the defensive third and twice in the midfield third.
Return of the Vice
Agger was significant in the win, opening the scoring and being a big part in yet another clean sheet for Liverpool. And having him back in the squad means Liverpool’s defence will surely get better as the games go on and this will only cause results to improve even more. The vice captain will need to make sure he stays injury free as he is essential to Liverpool’s back line and team altogether. With a solid defence and Gerrard also reaching full fitness, Liverpool will have their strongest team available for the second half of the season, which is just what the fans are hoping for.