Player Ratings: Burnley 0 – 2 Liverpool

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Match Overview and Ratings

Matchday 19 saw the Reds travel to Turf Moor, where Manchester City legend, Vincent Kompany, is now head coach of Burnley. While many players were surely saving their Christmas indulgences until after this game, the supporters in attendance and watching from various venues continued to enjoy the festive season and early evening game. The lineup and subsequent ratings are listed below, from a very entertaining game of Christmas football under Turf Moor’s evening lights.

Defensive Strengths Highlighted

Alisson Becker – 7.0: The world’s greatest goalkeeper, his continued availability is vital to any success this season. He was largely a spectator through the first half and was alert throughout as and when he was needed. Solid.

Joe Gomez – 8.0: With both senior left-backs injured, this could represent a new home for Joe Gomez, at least for the foreseeable future. He looked full of drive and endeavour in both ends of the pitch, as he supported all players around him. Having a very fine campaign.

Trent Alexander-Arnold – 7.0: The vice-captain and England star is vital to the hybrid initiative, with his growing influence making the team purr at times. He was not his absolute best, yet looked to supply good passing and opportunities from his hybrid position.

Jarell Quansah – 9.0: A return to the team, as a valued member of the defensive group. A brilliant game for the 20-year-old, who looks unflappable at times, on and off the ball. A star is born.

Virgil van Dijk – 9.0: The captain and leader of this team, much like his world-class goalkeeper behind him, his availability is crucial. His command of the pitch is unmatched and when called upon, he was simply colossal. The player of the year award could be his.

Midfield Dynamics

Ryan Gravenberch – 6.0: The young Dutch midfielder started this game ahead of Curtis Jones, despite his very poor showing against Arsenal. This was a varied game, where the moments seemed to pass him by. Just does not look ready for a continual starting role. Substituted in the 66th minute.

Wataru Endō – 7.0: The Japan captain is quickly becoming indispensable to his manager, with his ability to shield his defence and win the ball back. Was very good in his jobs and covered ground very well throughout. The odd wayward pass is forgivable; however, it nearly cost a goal late on.

Harvey Elliott – 7.0: The English midfielder came in for the Hungarian skipper on the right, with a creative role to support the attack. Was unlucky not to score the second goal, as Mohamed Salah strayed offside and into the eye line of the keeper. His energy and ability are superb and his role in the squad is now assured. Substituted in the 66th minute.

Striking Force and Subs Impact

Cody Gakpo – 6.0: The Colombian forward was replaced in the team by this young Dutch forward, with a central role designed to knit the front line together. This was a better performance than against Arsenal, as he tried to be that bit more aggressive and smarter in his overall play. Substituted in the 66th minute.

Darwin Núñez – 8.0: The Uruguayan raging bull came back into the side, after his relegation to the bench against Arsenal. A great opening goal was exactly what was needed in a display full of desire and aggression. Complimented the forward line well and was the standout attacker. Substituted in the 84th minute.

Mohamed Salah – 7.0: The Egyptian King will shortly be heading for the 2024 AFCON, which means he is likely to start every game from now until his departure. The moments of pace and electricity were fleeting yet vital to stretching the game when needed. His ability to engage multiple defenders allowed space for others to thrive.

Subs:

Curtis Jones – 6.0 (on 66): Was very keen to show why he should start; however, maybe needed to help calm the game state.

Dominik Szoboszlai – 7.0 (on 66): Was immediately strong and decisive in his play to help calm the waters.

Luis Díaz – 7.0 (on 60): Came on.

Diogo Jota – 8.0 (on 60): The fox in the box is back, and he scored the goal which his team needed to secure the points.

The Manager: Jürgen Klopp – 9.0

The German manager rotated accordingly, where he clearly rolled the dice on a few key assets, given the next game (at home to Newcastle) is not until New Year’s Day. His team selection and subsequent changes cannot be argued, as the players displayed all delivered what was needed. Some superb defensive work was imperative to the result, and he is now working his timing of alterations very well. Bringing in Jota for the final few minutes to help secure the win was masterful.

Pre-match Prediction:

Burnley 1 – 3 Liverpool

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