The Robin Hoods of English football are back. Liverpool were well-deserved 3-1 winners at Anfield against an Arsenal side who fought back after the break following what was an abject first half from them.
Goals from Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane gave the Reds a 2-0 lead and Gini Wijnaldum sealed the win for the Reds after Danny Welbeck pulled it back to 2-1 to send the nerves jangling.
Here’s how each player fared.
Simon Mignolet – 6.5
He had precious little to do in the first half. He started the second with a magnificent save off Giroud. He could have come off his line a little quicker to make it tougher for Welbeck to score.
Nathaniel Clyne – 5
Poor from Clyne. It is tragic how brain-dead he becomes when he reaches the offensive areas on the field. Showed some cheek too, with a back-heel in our penalty area.
Joel Matip – 6
A few nervy moments here and there, but largely, he dealt well with the threat of Giroud. The introduction of Alexis Sanchez caused some problems, but, all is well that ends well.
Ragnar Klavan – 6
Did himself no harm with that performance. He should never ever sit on the bench when Lucas is on the pitch for Liverpool.
James Milner – 6
The first half was refreshing from Milner. He got forward well and put in some dangerous crosses. However, he reverted to square one after the break, apart from providing one great cross that Origi headed onto the post.
Emre Can – 7
He started the game brilliantly, which was a welcome change. But for someone playing as the deepest-lying midfielder, his positioning is still pretty awful. Some might say that he was lucky to be on the pitch at full-time.
Gini Wijnaldum – 7
Absolutely clutch. He has come good in the big games this season and that is a huge credit to him. It was typical Wijnaldum again, as he went under the radar, but handled the transitions beautifully.
Adam Lallana – 9
MAN OF THE MATCH. Absolutely brilliant from Lallana. His work-rate in the first half was mental. The usual Lallana circle dribble also came out, but this time it was effective as he played the pass to set Origi free to create Wijnaldum’s goal.
Sadio Mane – 8
He tore Nacho Monreal apart for the first 75 minutes of the game. Then, it was visible that some fatigue kicked in. But, a goal and an assist, and a typical day’s work at Anfield for the Senegalese.
Philippe Coutinho – 7
He is not at his best yet, but there were some amazing touches that he showed us. He had two big chances to increase the lead in the first half but didn’t take them.
Roberto Firmino – 8
When the confidence is flowing, Firmino plays like he did in that first half. His movement, positioning, dribbling, and passing were all on point, as he confused Arsenal defenders. In the second half, he gave the ball away too cheaply and too often.
Divock Origi – 6
It was funny to watch Origi ask for a through ball when he was in an offside position, and he did it more than once. He was unlucky to see a fabulous header hit the frame of the goal. Provided an excellent ball in for Wijnaldum’s goal at the end.