PLAYER RATINGS: ARSENAL 0-2 LIVERPOOL
Liverpool fought their way to an impressive victory over Arsenal at the Emirates tonight. A goalless first half was followed by a fantastic second half display by the Reds. Goals from Jota and Firmino earned Jürgen Klopp’s outfit their ninth league win in a row. Read on for player ratings from the match.
Alisson – 8
Had nothing to do all game till Thiago sold him short with a back pass. He stood Lacazette up and quickly shuffled across when the pass was laid on to Odegaard. He sprung up to block the Norwegian’s shot when it seemed a certain goal. That right there is the difference a world class goalkeeper makes. What a save!
Alexander-Arnold – 7
Swung in an early corner for Van Dijk to test Ramsdale from. Played the pass of the first half to set Mané away on the stroke of halftime but Sadio blazed over under pressure. Martinelli gave Trent a number of problems in the first half especially. The right back stood up to the challenge and won in the end. He had him under wraps in the final half hour but he’ll be glad to see the back of him.
Matip – 8.5
Immense once again. Just rock solid at the back. Covered for Van Dijk well when the Dutchman got drawn out to the left back area. Produced some trademark marauding runs to try and open up their defence. He’s operating on a world class level and has been all season. Another clean sheet.
Van Dijk – 8
Seems to always be in the right place at the right time whenever a cross comes into the box. Won some huge headers when defending set pieces. Marshalled his backline well and kept the offside trap sharp as ever.
Robertson – 8.5
Arsenal targeted him strangely enough, with Saka always drifting wide to receive the ball. Robbo pocketed him with minimum fuss and even had time to bomb forward and cause mayhem at the other end. Set up Firmino’s goal through sheer determination and grit to win the ball back off Saka. A sensational performance till he tired late on and his deliveries let him down once or twice.
Fabinho – 7
Was very ropey first half. We couldn’t get a foothold into the game as Partey seemed to be winning most of the duels in the middle of the park. Fabinho didn’t offer enough of a calm head on the ball, resorting to booting it long. Second half he was miles better and back to his ball pinching self.
Henderson – 7
Worked tirelessly to get close to Trent whenever Martinelli sought to run at him. Offered lots of running power in midfield but couldn’t get his foot on the ball first half. Another who was much better in the second period. Played a belter of a ball through for Mané’s disallowed goal.
Thiago – 7
The Spanish maestro wasn’t quite at his sharpest. This was his first start since a hamstring issue and it was evident. He was slightly cumbersome in possession and was caught on it a few times. He played a suicidal backpass that should have been punished by Arsenal. World class players produce world class moments though, and that’s what he did when he opened up the game with a slide rule pass to put Jota through for the opener.
Mané – 6
Started on the right wing but couldn’t really affect the game. He wasn’t on the same wavelength as Trent. He switched back to the left and was slightly better. Should have scored on the stroke of halftime after a trademark Trent pass. Finished with aplomb at the start of the second period but he was a yard offside. Tried to play Salah in at the end there, Jones might have been the better option but nice to see.
Jota – 6.5
Started well in the opening few minutes but then lost his way a bit. His passes were going astray and he was losing it cheaply. He had lost the most duels in the match by halftime. Typical Jota though, a chance fell to him second half and he was ice cold. He rifled his shot past Ramsdale at his near post. Unlucky to be taken off straight after that.
Diaz – 6
Couldn’t get in the game at all. The game passed him by. A switch to the right wing didn’t change much as he lost out on a foot race with Tierney. Not his night. Did well to win a free kick off Cedric after a strong run.
Firmino – 7.5
What a return to the side for Bobby! Provided a cute finish at the near post from Robertson’s cutback to put daylight between the two sides. Pressed like a maniac and almost forced Ramsdale into an error. Lost the ball a few times but that’s down to rustiness.
Salah – 6.5
Played the pass into Firmino that started the move for the second. His shot in that same move was blocked on the line by White. His mere presence meant Arsenal couldn’t throw caution to the wind and commit bodies forward. Played in by Mané at the end but White stole the ball before he could shoot.
Jones – N/A
Brought on for the final few minutes.
The manager made two changes to his side with Thiago coming in for Keita and Jota taking the place of Salah who was only fit enough to make the bench. The first half was a cause for concern but whatever he said at the break worked a treat. A much improved second half showing led to a ninth league win in a row to close the gap to City down to a single point!
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