PLAYER RATINGS: LIVERPOOL 2-0 WOLVES
Liverpool earned victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers at Anfield tonight, as goals from Virgil Van Dijk and Mohamed Salah handed the Reds’ top four hopes a much needed boost. Here are player ratings from the encounter.
Alisson – 6.5
Good footwork to get across and palm Moutinho’s early shot away. Didn’t have much else to do. Played one of the passes of the match to find Tsimikas on the left wing in the buildup to the second goal.
Alexander-Arnold – 7.5
Much better tonight. Was assured in possession and looked bright going forward. Didn’t shirk his defensive responsibilities either. Decided the game with an outstanding free kick delivery for Van Dijk. Seriously what a ball that was!
Konaté – 6.5
Looked a bit unsteady at times but got the job done. Got away with one when the referee awarded a free kick after Ait-Nouri got away from him on the byline. Needs to be much stronger in such situations. Not every ref would give you the benefit of the doubt as he no doubt saw at Brentford. A welcome return to action.
Van Dijk – 7.5
Got over an early error when he cleared straight to a Wolves shirt to have a commanding game at the back. Broke the deadlock with a stooping header after his initial effort had been clawed away by Sa. Was alert to help deal with the pacy Adama late on.
Tsimikas – 7
Excellent defensively all night. That became even more apparent when Traore came on after the break. Didn’t really get forward much. When he finally did, it was to devastating effect as he carried the ball into the box and calmly laid it back to Salah for a simple tap in. Just the sort of impact and performance you’d want from a backup.
Fabinho – 6
Was okay. Won the ball well in the Wolves box twice early on but for some reason didn’t go for goal. Was frustrating to watch at times but in the end it’s job done, three points on the board. Booked for stepping on Lemina when attempting a Cryuff turn.
Elliott – 6
Set Salah away on a counter in the first few minutes. Should have scored at least one of the three chances Darwin set up for him. The first was a terrible miss from just a few yards out as he steered his header wide.
He saw the second pushed away, before shooting straight at Sa on the third attempt. His passing was poor when he tried to pick a pass over the top of the defence. He’d have been kicking himself had it not been for the two late goals. Worked his socks off in tracking his man back.
Bajcetic – 7
Registered the first shot on target but it was straight at Sa. Won his tackles in midfield and was on the end of some heavy challenges. Stood out once again and showed maturity to play for so long on a yellow.
Salah – 6
In and out of the game with almost every attack breaking down when he got it. Constantly gave the ball away with some shocking passing when teammates were getting into dangerous areas. Kept plugging away and got his goal in the end when he kneed Tsimikas’ cross home. That’s 20 for the season and he’s not even been at his rip-roaring best yet. Legend.
Jota – 6
Blowing through the rust at the minute. The ball kept bouncing off him but he kept going. One daring run saw him cause mayhem to allow Darwin score but he was penalised for a foul in the buildup. He produced one moment of quality to hook the ball across goal for Van Dijk to nod home before being subbed.
Darwin – 7
Set up Elliott for an easy tap in but he could only head wide. Found the youngster again and this time he tested Sa in goal. He put in a lot of work defensively to support Tsimikas. Played some unbelievable diagonal switches. Unlucky to see his goal chalked off.
Gakpo – 6
Lovely exchange of passes with Tsimikas, with his deft first time pass setting the Greek away for the clinching goal.
Henderson – 6
Kept the ball as he helped managed and see the game out.
Milner – N/A
Played right back for a bit.
Made a number of changes to the side that drew at Palace, with Konaté, Tsimikas, Fabinho, Bajcetic, Elliott and Darwin coming in for Matip, Robertson, Henderson, Milner and Gakpo. A poor first half saw Elliott go closest to scoring.
The manager kept faith with his starting XI, failing to make any changes till the deadlock was broken after 70 minutes. Four clean sheets in a row (five in the last six) bodes well. This back to basics approach was necessary. Now on to the small matter of Manchester United at Anfield on Sunday.