Stats: Liverpool's £20m man settles well on competitive debut

Anfield Kop

Dejan Lovren and Martin Skrtel may see their partnership blossom after their first league game together.

Liverpool's 2-1 win over Southampton saw Brendan Rodgers throw a new centre-back into the Premier League fold.

Out went Mamadou Sakho, who sat on the bench, and in came former Saints defender Dejan Lovren.

After a strong Anfield debut in the friendly win against Borussia Dortmund a week ago, the pressure was on for the Croatian to deliver.

The 25-year-old was signed for £20 million this summer and recently promised fans that the Reds would fight for the Premier League title.

And things weren't made any easier for Lovren when the Southampton fans booed his every touch.

But, alongside Martin Skrtel, the centre-back produced a promising display for Liverpool against his old club.

  TeamPosTackles WonAerial Duels WonEffective ClearancesInterceptions WonAccurate PassesAppsMins
Javier Manquillo Liverpool DF 3 2 5 4 60 1 90
Dejan Lovren Liverpool DF 1 6 11 4 66 1 90
Martin Skrtel Liverpool DF 1 7 20 2 77 1 90
Glen Johnson Liverpool DF 0 3 3 1 44 1 90

As Opta stats show, Lovren won six aerial duels, made 11 clearances and completed 66 passes. He also won four interceptions and one tackle.

Indeed, the only man to outshine him within the Reds' back four was his partner in crime Skrtel, suggesting the two could keep Sakho out for quite some time and form an effective partnership together.

Liverpool looked far from their best against Southampton, of course, with moments of shakiness still almost costing them at the back. But, already, Rodgers' back line looks more solid with the inclusion of Lovren, while Skrtel seems to be feeding off having an authoritative team-mate.

Elsewhere, Javier Manquillo enjoyed a quieter debut, though he still impressed considering it was his first ever Premier League game.

By contrast, Glen Johnson struggled.

Can Lovren & Skrtel blossom as a partnership?

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