Player Ratings: Jones Superb as Reds Comeback to Beat Fulham

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Liverpool 2 – 1 Fulham – EFL Cup Semi-final 1st Leg Player Ratings

The quick turnaround in games for Liverpool meant that Jürgen Klopp was forced into some solid rotation for this EFL semi-final first leg tie. The injuries have gradually mounted up for the Anfield side, yet the depth in quality was still apparent, especially from the bench.

The line up and subsequent ratings are listed below, from a very entertaining game (the second half anyway) under the Anfield lights.

Caoimhin Kelleher – 7.0

The young Irishman resumed duties for his designated competition. Could do nothing for the opening goal, which was fired low and from close range. Was solid and very good with his feet throughout and is looking more solid with the increased game time.

Joe Gomez – 8.0

With both senior left backs and now Trent Alexander Arnold injured, Joe’s versatility becomes even more crucial in this period. His impact was always evident, as his assurance and ability to create a hybrid midfield from the left was telling in stiffening up the middle. So important this season and covered so much ground.

Conor Bradley – 8.0

The young fullback was impressive when he entered the field last Sunday (against Arsenal), which continued with a bright and tenacious start against Fulham. Maybe could have stood better for the opening goal, however, the overall commitment and maturity in his game (at both ends of the pitch) was delightful. A real find.

https://twitter.com/borbely_imre/status/1745205452441334176?s=46&t=rxgukmqdoXc4muVFLSx2EQ

Ibrahima Konat̩ Р7.0

A second start in three days perhaps showed how stretched the Liverpool squad is right now. Was alert early on to a hopeful ball into the box and was strong through the opening exchanges. Did his work diligently, which can sometimes be tough when the second half was more sporadic defensive work.

Virgil van Dijk – 7.0

The captain and leader of this team. Looked jaded early on, as some indecision led to the visitors’ taking the lead. Grew into the game and pushed his team forward. Was faultless after a slow start.

Curtis Jones – 9.0

The industrious midfielder started brightly with a desire to impact the final third. A good shot was easily saved in the opening minutes. His endeavour increased as his team called for more purpose. The goal was vital and his contributions this season match that effort. Liverpool’s best midfielder, yet again.

Man of the Match

Alexis Mac Allister – 8.0

The Argentina World Cup winner started once more, yet struggled to get a hold of the game as the visitors showed good desire in the first half. His work rate and passing increased exponentially as the game pushed on and he enjoyed a very strong second half.

Ryan Gravenberch – 4.0

The Dutch under-21 star deserved to start and was bright in the opening exchanges, until he was not. He lost possession, could not compete as required and looked sorely out of place.

Subbed – 56 mins

Luis Díaz – 7.0

The Colombian flyer started once more, with back-to-back good performances under his belt. His match was about moments of desire and good running. A few nice passes created openings in a solid game.

Diogo Jota – 9.0

The Portuguese forward made his first start since returning from injury, with a continuation of his very good form. Kept running, probing, looking for avenues, and must now be considered a first team starter. so good to have the real Jota back.

Subbed – 64 mins

Harvey Elliott – 6.0

The England under-21 star started once more as the Mohamed Salah alternate. Struggled throughout and could not find rhythm with Gravenberch offering so little behind him. Back to the bench, where he has been a vital substitution.

Subbed – 56 mins

Subs

Cody Gakpo – 8.0 (on 64)

Came on to have a very fine cameo and a well taken goal.

Darwin N̼̱ez Р8.0 (on 64)

Came on to add carnage and grab two assists. Nearly scored a couple himself and was vital to this win.

The Manager

Jürgen Klopp – 8.0

The German manager rotated accordingly, with so little options in his injury-ravaged squad. The decision to start Virgil (after illness) may have backfired, as his skipper looked a little off his game and was the cause for the opening goal conceded.

The double substitution just before the hour brought that missing intensity, which the departing Gravenberch was missing. In choosing to maintain the players from then on made sense, especially in difficult managerial circumstances. Overall, the boss did well to react once again and the second leg should see a couple of players return.

[Pre-match Prediction: Liverpool 3 – 1 Fulham]

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