Taking a closer look at one of Liverpool's best performers on Thursday night with an every-touch compilation of Oussama Assaidi against Anzhi Makhachkala.
It was a close race for Liverpool's man of the match honours on Thursday night against Anzhi Makhachkala, with Andre Wisdom and Oussama Assaidi both putting on impressive performances, one imposing himself physically on the opposition and the other delivering by way of tricks and pace. Unfortunately for Wisdom, at least when it comes to video compilations that highlight a player's performance, the latter tends to win out—especially when you're talking about Liverpool, a club that hasn't had a proper flare winger since the mid-palaeolithic.
Assaidi, the 24-year-old Moroccan winger who arrived injured from Heerenveen in the summer, hasn't seen a lot of action to date for Liverpool, but a second strong Europa League performance—this one even better than his flashy debut against Young Boys BSC—should at least see his name in consideration for regular playing time in what is a very busy stretch for Liverpool over the coming weeks.
And against Anzhi, as was been the case against Young Boys, it was Assaidi's instant acceleration allowed that was most impressive. Time and again he was able to beat defenders with a quick change of pace as he dipped his shoulder, shifted his head, and popped up five yards in the other direction before his marker had figured out where he was actually going.
Almost as impressive were his quick feet, and they should have led to a penalty in the second half when Arseniy Logashov barged into him from behind in the box after a glorious first touch took him past his marker and charging towards goal. With the referee unwilling to call all but the most blatant fouls in both directions, what would have been a penalty on almost any other night on this occasion wasn't, but the touch, turn, and instant burst of speed that put Assaidi on goal is the kind of move that needs to be seen more than once.
Having played the full ninety minutes against Anzhi and with Suso and Sterling preferred in the league up until now one wouldn't expect Assaidi to be in the starting conversation for Everton on Sunday, but a start against Swansea in the League cup next Wednesday seems nearly guaranteed. Another performance like Thursday night's then, though, and his name might have to be in consideration when Liverpool host Newcastle in a little over a week's time.