PLAYER RATINGS: LIVERPOOL 3-0 BRENTFORD
Liverpool hosted Brentford at Anfield this afternoon and eased to a comfortable 3-0 victory. Brentford sat deep and made it difficult but Fabinho opened the scoring with a header on the stroke of halftime. Oxlade-Chamberlain and Minamino added gloss to the dominance second half. Read on for player ratings from the encounter.
Alisson – 6
His distribution over long distances was not at it’s usual accuracy. He didn’t have much to do bar a late Toney effort, which was their only shot on target. Back to back clean sheets.
Alexander-Arnold – 9
Much much better today. His deliveries both from open play and on set pieces looked dangerous and Fabinho profited off one to open the scoring. He wasn’t shy to take aim from range either, hitting two shots just over. Set up Jota second half but his shot came back off the post. 10 league assists and we’re still only in January. Unreal.
Matip – 8
Another strong display. Love it everytime he decides to be Maradona for a bit, shame that he never really looks confident about taking the shot once he gets into the box. Defended well one on one the few times Brentford broke. Passed a ball straight to Mbuemo on two occasions, lucky to get away with it.
Van Dijk – 8
Not troubled much. Won his headers, cleared his lines, set the offside trap and generally looked himself. Got our first shot on target with a left footed shot from a corner. Sprayed some lovely diagonals out wide. One header fell to Toney who put Mbuemo in but Matip cleaned it up.
Robertson – 8.5
More like it from Andy today. Fantastic cross to pick out Oxlade-Chamberlain at the backpost for 2-0. Made a crucial block on a goal bound effort but the flag went up anyways, he wasn’t to know that. Attacked well, combined with Jones and Jota down the left. Even saw a shot blocked. Put in a fair few crosses.
Fabinho – 9
Gave his side the much needed opener, and right on the stroke of halftime too as he reacted quickest to nod home Trent’s corner. He played well, passed the ball around well enough and hit a sweet volley that was unfortunately too central to trouble Fernandez. Had a ropey few minutes second half but quickly recovered.
Henderson – 9
Heavily criticised for his form recently, the skipper came out of the tunnel determined to boss the game. Boss the game he did, he was everywhere, winning the ball back, offering a passing option, keeping the ball moving and shutting down any attacks before they could even reach our defensive half. Much better on the ball in the final third too.
Jones – 7.5
He played well, but his decision making at times today was off. He showed lovely feet to go past two but curled his shot too close to the keeper. Fabinho’s pass found him in space and he tried to catch out Fernandez with an early shot. Held on to the ball a bit too long at times, and he failed to play the right pass to an advancing Robbo for the first time cross on one or two occasions. Encouraging performance nonetheless.
Oxlade-Chamberlain – 6.5
Thought he was poor for the most part, playing on the right wing today. On the stroke of halftime he had isolated his defender and had the chance to take him on and get away the shot. He instead bundled a poor pass out wide. That lack of confidence to take a game by the scruff of the neck is something that has dogged his game for a while. Made up for all that with a clinical header at the backpost. Then he got injured. Unfortunate.
Firmino – 6.5
Dragged one shot well wide from 30 yards out. Not quite on it as he was pushed off the ball a bit too easily at times. Worked hard though, pressed well and in the end unselfishly set Minamino up for an easy finish after he had won the ball back as Brentford tried to play out.
Jota – 6.5
His passing can be really frustrating when there’s a chance to play someone in. He lined up on the left today and tried to make runs into the box to get on the end of chances but didn’t find any luck. When Brentford opened up second half he got in twice, and both times he failed to apply the finish. First he shot straight at Fernandez and then with the second, he was unlucky as his shot struck the base of the post.
Minamino – 7
Came on for the injured Ox and immediately got on the scoresheet. He initially laid the ball off to Bobby but when the Brazilian returned it he simply passed it into the corner. A huge confidence boost after the miss on Thursday. Played well after that, pressed well and won the ball back a fair few times. Set Gordon and then Trent up for a one on one chance with the keeper.
Gordon – N/A
Came on to make his Premier League debut and could have crowned it with a goal but he put his shot too close to Fernandez. Made up for him to be getting opportunities in the first team.
Milner – N/A
On to help see out the game. This is the perfect scenario to bring him on. He did that job well, passing it around and helping us keep the ball. He even joined the attack and tried to create something.
Chose to drop Minamino for Ox and put Jones in midfield ahead of Milner. The team struggled to break down a stubborn Brentford defence first half but looked dangerous from set pieces. After taking the lead, they came out for the second half and looked much better.
Maybe Brentford committing more men in attack to try and get back in the game helped. He lost Ox to injury, lessening his attacking options even further. Good to see Minamino score off the bench and young Kaide Gordon to also get minutes. On to that second leg at the Emirates.
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