MADE 4 LIVERPOOL PLAYER OF THE MONTH – MARCH
It’s time to look back at the month that was March to crown Liverpool’s Player of the Month. March saw the Reds contest four matches across the Premier League and Champions League. Two wins were bookended by two defeats, with the side netting 9 goals and conceding twice.
The month kicked off with a straightforward 2-0 win over a Wolves outfit that had caused the Reds loads of problems in the preceding weeks. Next was what can be viewed as the highlight of the month (and arguably the entire season) as an in-form Manchester United side was swatted aside at Anfield.
That 7-0 triumph was scarcely believable and made even sweeter by the fact that many a pundit tipped Ten Hag’s men as favourites heading into the fixture. That display was Liverpool at their irrepressible, ruthless best. It’s a shame we haven’t seen enough of that version of Liverpool this campaign.
That Jürgen Klopp’s men followed that seismic victory with a pitiful defeat at bottom of the table Bournemouth sums up this campaign. There have already been similar losses to bottom of the table Nottingham Forest and Wolves this season. The mentality monsters have shrunk before our very eyes.
The month ended with a whimper as Real Madrid held the Reds at arm’s length on their way to a 1-0 victory to complete a comprehensive 6-2 thrashing on aggregate. Here are the few players who stood out over the course of the month of March:
3. Darwin Nunez – avg. rating (6.9)
The 23 year old has slowly worked his way from the object of ridicule to a key component of Jürgen Klopp’s attack. His absence is now keenly felt, with his pace and directness a constant threat for opposition defences.
He had a good outing against Wolves and was unlucky to see his goal chalked off for a foul in the buildup. Two brilliant headers against Manchester United were his only goals of the month but that second half display will stay long in the memory.
He wasn’t as effective in defeat at the Vitality Stadium, but then again who was? He was unlucky to see his assist chalked off that day as Cody Gakpo had moved a fraction too early before converting his cross past Neto.
He kept his place on the left wing against Real Madrid and was by far the Reds’ best attacker on the night. He looked most likely to score as he brought out some excellent saves from Belgian stopper Thibaut Courtois.
That he was taken off early in the second half was a real surprise, as the side’s threat dwindled following that substitution. He had a solid enough month and will be aiming to overcome a knock to his ankle in order to finish his maiden season on a high. He’s taken his tally for the season to 14 goals.
Darwin Nunez in March:
• 290 minutes played
• 12 duels won
• 11 shots attempted
• 6 successful dribbles
• 6 ball recoveries
• 3 chances created
• 2 goals
2. Alisson Becker – avg. rating (6.9)
The Brazilian shotstopper has been the side’s saviour on many an occasion this season. He was at it again this month, keeping welcome clean sheets against Wolves and United. He only had the one save to make against the former, parrying Moutinho’s early shot to safety.
His distribution was key in setting the side away for the second goal that night. He then made four saves against the Red Devils but in truth, it was a pretty comfortable outing. He saved his best performance for last, proving an almost unbeatable presence in goal at the Bernabeu.
Real managed 8 shots on target that night but Alisson kept the score respectable. Three saves in particular stood out. The first was an incredible close range block on a Vinicius header at the backpost. That looked like a certain goal till the big arm of the Brazilian came up.
He then extended his entire frame to tip Camavinga’s deflected long range effort onto the crossbar. He finally stayed big to deny Valverde when the Uruguayan broke through one on one second half. It was a truly astonishing display of goalkeeping. What a shame he couldn’t leave with a clean sheet!
Alisson Becker tops the charts in goals prevented this season (9.6) out of all goalkeepers in Europe’s top five leagues. [@Squawka]
1. Ibrahima Konaté – avg. rating (7.4)
The Frenchman has slowly established himself as first choice in the heart of defence this season. To think he was out for most of the season and only made his first appearance of the campaign in January.
Infact ‘Ibou’ has looked the best centre back at the club in recent weeks. With Joe Gomez disappointing on an almost regular basis, Joel Matip all at sea recently and even the once imperious Van Dijk looking human, the 23 year old has been the standout.
He marked his return from a hamstring injury against Wolves and aided the side in keeping a clean sheet. He went on to pocket the most in-form player in the country as Marcus Rashford was kept quiet in the 7-0 thrashing.
He could have done better for the goal at Bournemouth but he was let down by his partner. He was yet again the best defender in the side on the trip to the Spanish capital. He excelled out wide when he had to inevitably come across to deal with Vinicius.
This didn’t affect his work in the middle either as he battled well against Benzema and kept him relatively quiet till he poked home a tap in second half. If he can stay fit, the Reds will be better off. His fitness record is the only thing standing in his path to world class status.
It has been nice to see him carry his World Cup form into the club season. He has maintained that form during this international break as well, helping the French national team to consecutive clean sheets and receiving rave reviews for his performances. Long may it continue.
Ibou Konaté in March:
• 360 minutes played
• 21 ball recoveries
• 19 duels won
• 19 clearances
• 6 tackles won
• 3 interceptions
• 2 clean sheets
Highest rated individual performance of the month:
° Alexander-Arnold vs Man United – (10/10)
° Konaté vs Man United – (10/10)
° Van Dijk vs Man United – (10/10)
° Robertson vs Man United – (10/10)
° Fabinho vs Man United – (10/10)
° Elliott vs Man United – (10/10)
° Henderson vs Man United – (10/10)
° Salah vs Man United – (10/10)
° Gakpo vs Man United – (10/10)
° Darwin vs Man United – (10/10)
Made4Liverpool 22/23 Player of the Month:
August – Harvey Elliott
September – Thiago Alcantara
October – Alisson Becker
November – Darwin Nunez
December – Trent Alexander-Arnold
January – Ibrahima Konaté
February – James Milner
March – Ibrahima Konaté
*Average ratings are collated from the player ratings posted on this site after every match. Players must have earned a rating in more than half the number of games in the month under review.