Liverpool 0 – 0 Manchester United – PL Player Ratings

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Player Ratings

Match day sixteen saw the Reds start the day top of the table, yet the Arsenal win over Brighton (2-0), meant that the Reds were relegated to third (Villa moved up to second also) as they started this game. The starting lineup was pretty much as expected, with a good range of options available from the bench.

Alisson Becker – 7.0

A welcome return last weekend at least gave the Brazilian goalkeeper some game time to prepare for the visit of United. Was a spectator for the first hour, before delivering a world class stop from Antony shortly thereafter.

Kostas Tsimikas – 5.0

The Greek international defender returned to the starting eleven after his midweek break. A solid first half of attacking width and able coverage of Antony ensued, as the game stumbled along with the home side unable to gain a lead. His crossing was largely aimless and the indecision on the ball stagnated play at times.

Liverpool Vice-Captain Trent Alexander Arnold – 6.0

The vice-captain emerged very quickly into his middle role, as the hybrid initiative continues to evolve. With the away side producing good structure and organisation to their rearguard, the England star struggled to find that telling ball to move his side ahead before the break. Started the second half with purpose, as a driving run saw his eventual shot drilled into the side netting. Upon moving into central midfield, he should have scored into a relatively open goal.

Ibrahima Konaté – 7.0

A return to weekend responsibilities was inevitable, especially given the unfortunate season ending injury to his teammate, Joël Matip. A solid first period showing, saw the giant Frenchman spend most of his time in the opposition half, with an ability to cover ground and win aerial battles against any counter attacks. Was solid and resolute.

Virgil van Dijk – 8.0 – Man of the match

The captain and leader of this team, his role was to orchestrate and lead his team on in a rather mundane opening 45 minutes. Good coverage and positioning in the backline meant that it was a slow period for the giant Dutchman, as the game stumbled to the interval. Was very unlucky not to score midway through the first half, as a strong header (from a corner) was tipped over. Had to contain more moments in the second period, as the visiting team sensed a way through. The 32-year-old continued to stand up to everything that came his way.

Dominik Szoboszlai – 5.0

The Hungarian skipper was very excited and perhaps too eager to make an impression in a first half of the game. Despite various moments that could have created opportunities, the final ball or decision in the first half was lacking. Was perhaps a surprise to see him leave early, however, he looks jaded compared to the opening few weeks of the year.

Subbed – 60 mins

Wataru Endō – 5.0

The Japan captain was perhaps lucky to start, with some sporadic appearances of late. His role in the first half was to kill the very few counter attacks that came his way, as a shield to the very high backline. Was efficient and controlled in a game where such a central figure probably needed more on the ball guile.

Ryan Gravenberch – 4.0

The Dutch midfielder looked bright in moments and lacklustre in others, in a first half that flattered to deceive. Despite some good touches and easy on the eye movements on the ball, the final product lacked, when the floor was his to dominate. The second half was very much a continuation of the first, before a potential cramp had him subbed on the hour.

Subbed – 60 mins

Luis Díaz – 5.0

The Colombian winger looked dangerous when he got up to full speed, yet that kind of endeavour was not enough to create a good chance in the disappointing first half. Was limited more so in the second half as the options regressed alongside the minutes remaining.

Subbed – 77 mins

Darwin Núñez – 5.0

The Uruguayan energetic forward was clearly frustrated by a lack of space to run into, as the opposing backline would retreat continually. Chances were few and far between in the initial half, as the Reds somehow let their visitors off the hook. Should have scored into an empty net just before leaving the field.

Subbed – 77 mins

Mohamed Salah – 6.0

The star forward looked the brightest attacking spark in the first half; however, avenues were closed off with decent precision and he failed to interact with his teammates in a way that would break the deadlock. The leading scorer had an excellent shot saved just after the hour, as the long-range effort came inwards too close to the keeper.

Subs:

Cody Gakpo – 5.0 (Substituted at 60 minutes)

Came on to add something, which he struggled to deliver.

Joe Gomez – 7.0 (Substituted at 60 minutes)

Came on to add drive and power to the right-hand side, as Trent moved up one.

Curtis Jones – 5.0 (Substituted at 77 minutes)

Could not offer what was hoped in such little time.

Harvey Elliott – 5.0 (Substituted at 77 minutes)

Very unlucky not to start and was not given enough time to make a real impact.

The Manager:

Jürgen Klopp – 5.0

The German manager selected the team that many expected, ensuring continuity in the weekend starting eleven with the more electric level players returning. The energy of his starting lineup was there in the opening stages, though as the minutes ticked by and the score line remained level, the first half ambled along with only the Virgil header really testing the opposing keeper.

Despite a strong bench, the interval did not see any changes made, as faith in his starting group carried over.

The first substitute saw Dominik’s exit from the pitch, which was strange, given his explosive abilities. Darwin and Diaz leaving the pitch was again something that surely reduced the on-pitch ability to score, as the alterations appeared more a search for answers than a decisive act of a world class manager. Not a great game to watch and the in-game changes did nothing to alter the direction of the game.

Liverpool 2 – 1 Manchester United

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