Player Ratings as Liverpool hammer Arsenal
Liverpool were absolutely rampant on Sunday afternoon as they dispatched a worryingly poor Arsenal side at Anfield. Roberto Firmino got the ball rolling early on after some wonderful build up play before Mane, Salah and Sturridge all got in on the act.
A thoroughly pleasing performance for all Liverpool fans. Here are the ratings from the match.
Loris Karius 6
The German was a rather surprising inclusion to the starting eleven, with Klopp opting to rest Simon Mignolet despite his impressive display against Hoffenheim in midweek.
Much like the Belgian does in between the sticks, Karius cut a nervy figure for The Reds, labouring on the ball before distributing it out to his teammates – not once, not twice but three times, although the third occasion can be attributed to a lazy back pass from Joel Matip.
Luckily for Karius, it didn’t impact the overall score line on an otherwise perfect day for Liverpool.
Joe Gomez 8
Drafted in after Trent Alexander-Arnold suffered an injury against Hoffenheim, there was naturally a lot of pressure heaped on Gomez’s shoulders for such an important game. However, the full-back showed no signs of nerves, delivering a full proof performance at both ends of the field.
Gifted time and space down the right-hand side, Gomez delivered an inch perfect ball into the danger zone for Roberto Firmino to nod home and set the ball rolling early on. Then, at the other end of the pitch, he got down well with a crucial block to deny Arsenal a route back into the match.
His future remains up in the air, with several clubs showing a clear interest in taking him on loan for the season, but based on his performance against Arsenal, Klopp would be wise to keep hold of the 20-year-old.
Dejan Lovren 7
It was a pretty quiet game on the whole for Lovren, who managed to avoid any mishaps at the back following a few rather questionable displays for The Reds. He showed good aggression in the tackles and rose well to deal with any aerial threats Arsenal mustered up.
When he sticks to the basics of the game, he can be a pretty decent defender.
Joel Matip 7
Used his aerial ability to win numerous duels for Liverpool at the back, showing his usual composure on the ball as well. But for his poor pass back to Karius, it was another solid display at the heart of the defence.
Alberto Moreno 7
Albie has always been one of those players who splits opinion among the Liverpool fan base. You either love his quirky, gung-ho style of football, or you’re left scratching your eyes out at how brainless he can be at the back.
Against Arsenal, it was certainly the former. The Spaniard delivered an impressive performance down the left, getting forward well in support of the attack with some lovely interchange between him, Can and Firmino. Defensively, he was quick into the challenge and dealt well with anything thrown his way – not that Arsenal carried any real threat about them.
Jordan Henderson 8
It was an improved display from the Liverpool skipper, who lead by example with some relentless pressing throughout the ninety minutes. Never giving Arsenal a minute on the ball allowed his team to gain a quick foothold in the game, from which the front three then did the business.
A couple of wayward passes to Mane and Salah aside, Henderson worked brilliantly in the midfield three and almost got himself on the scoresheet but his dink went just wide of the goal.
Emre Can 9
Liverpool may have been left frustrated in their pursuit of Naby Keita this summer, but Emre Can’s performance was that of the £60-70million midfielder Klopp wanted. He showed far more freedom both on and off the ball, venturing forward well to get on the end of Moreno’s cross, before producing a dangerous cross for Salah, who someone missed from close range.
Liverpool need to get that contract sorted quickly!
Gini Wijnaldum 8
Rightly criticised for a sluggish start to the season, Wijnaldum really stepped it up against Arsenal. Provided the engine to the midfield trio, snapping into tackles and showboating on the leave a few opposition players embarrassed and on the floor.
Sadio Mane – 9
I’m running out of superlatives to describe Mane at the moment. He threatened and tormented Arsenal’s defence all day long down the left-hand side before cutting in for his goal in much the same way he did last season at The Emirates. Deserved his standing ovation when he came off for Sturridge.
Roberto Firmino 9
Another impressive performance from the Brazilian up front, linking up well with his teammates down both flanks. Took his goal well to set the tone for the rest of the match and continued some relentless pressing before being substituted off late on. Played a key role in the fourth goal, too.
Mohamed Salah 9
He’s settled into Liverpool so well in such a short space of time, establishing a mouthwatering partnership with Firmino and Mané up top. Could have easily got on the scoresheet three times before he eventually found the target, racing through on goal and slotting the ball into the bottom corner.
Salah managed to get himself an assist, too, producing a wonderful cross for Sturridge to seal the win. There will be plenty more of that this season, you’d expect.