But what kind of statistics did the 20-year-old manage to produce playing in central defensive midfield against one of the most well-equipped attacks in world football, that of Jurgen Klopp’s Reds? Today, we’re going to carry out a quick-fire statistics-driven tactical analysis to find out the stats behind the impressive display!
For the main phase of our analysis, we’re going to analyse Rice’s key general statistics from the 1-1 draw where Sadio Mane fired the visitors ahead, before Michail Antonio equalised just before the half-hour mark. We bring you these in the below graphic, from our good friends over at wyscout.com.
As you can see, the average general stats from Rice’s short career so far that has included over 50 first-team appearances in Claret & Blue, are also featured in the image. They make for an interesting comparison along the way.
The first stat we’re drawn to, after columns detailing the full 94 minutes he played in Stratford and his left-central-defensive-midfield positioning within the 4-2-3-1 of Manuel Pellegrini alongside his captain Mark Noble. Is total actions and his rate of success in them.
The fact that Rice was able to produce 54 with over half being completed successfully, but it still not be anywhere near his average, is a testament to the Republic of Ireland international’s consistency. However, it’s no surprise to see that he failed to register a goal, an assist or a cross and only carry a very slender expected goals threat, given his defensive style in a game where his team did more defending than attacking.
But there’s no hiding from the chance he missed by inches, that saw Rice register his only shot of the evening, passing up the opportunity to score his second senior goal and his second in as many months. Just before half-time, when club-record signing Felipe Anderson picked him out free in the box.
As ever, the versatile star who is constantly being linked with a change of international allegiance to England and currently deciding his international future’s passing stats were top-notch. He graced the middle of the park with 81 per cent short pass accuracy and 50% on his tricky long passes. Not to mention a 100% dribble success rate, completing two out of two against the world-class talents of the opposition.
Rice displayed how much he was up for the tough fight by embroiling himself in 21 duels, winning eight out of the 20 ground duels and impressively, one out of one aerial duel, as we can see.
In addition, the “future captain of West Ham United” helped out the defence he was formerly a member of by completing two interceptions, as well as only losing the ball in his own half in one of his low six losses. Catching the eye with a superb 13 recoveries, seven in the Hammers half and six in the Reds half. All capped off by keeping his disciplinary record in shape by not picking up a single card from referee Kevin Friend.
The stats behind Rice’s showstopping performance in an exemplary result against Liverpool, as our statistical tactical analysis has revealed, are just as fantastic as his display was aesthetically pleasing for 59,903 inside London Stadium. And many millions more watching all over the world.
It’s no secret that this kind of statistical display is what members of the Claret & Blue Army have come to expect from Rice week-in-week-out in the near-two-years he’s spent in the first-team set-up so far. The starlet is improving with every passing game and if he can do this against Klopp’s PL top boys, he can do it for or against any team.
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