Jurgen Klopp had his players fully fired up for the task at hand as they signed off the league season in style with an emphatic 4-0 victory. Joel Rabinowitz provides the ratings.
Liverpool 4-0 Brighton & Hove Albion
Premier League, Anfield
Goals: Salah 26’, Lovren 40’, Solanke 53’, Robertson 85’
Loris Karius – 7
The German found himself relatively untroubled as he enjoyed a fairly relaxing afternoon in the sun, occupying the role of spectator as Brighton struggled to pose any real threat up top.
It’s been a superb second half of the season for Karius who has given himself a real chance of having a long term future at the club after seizing the number one jersey with aplomb.
Calm, composed and always an option in attacking areas out wide.
It has been a joy to behold Alexander-Arnold’s progression into a consummate first team regular this season and it’s easy to take performances like this for granted, when he does all the basics well and displays such confidence and maturity in possession.
It’s remarkable to think this is his first full season at senior level- it looks like he’s been playing at this level for years.
Dejan Lovren – 8
There wasn’t a huge amount for any of the back four to do in a defensive sense, but Lovren was in the right place when he had to be and continues to look a much more assured defender alongside Virgil van Dijk.
Timed his leap superbly to crash a bullet header into the back of the net for his second goal of the season, suitably enjoyed with a Mohamed Salah-style celebration in front of the Kop.
Virgil van Dijk – 8
Imperious as ever, both in and out of possession. One outstanding, raking 50-yard through ball which sliced through the entire Brighton midfield in the first half to release Alexander-Arnold down the right wing, and a brilliant burst of acceleration to mop up a rare Brighton counter attack in the second half.
He’s been every bit as impressive as everyone hoped he would be.
Andy Robertson – 9
If it wasn’t for Salah, Robertson would be right up there in the conversation for Premier League signing of the season.
He’s been exceptional ever since coming into the side and delivered a pinpoint assist for Lovren in the first half, before lashing in his first ever goal for Liverpool late on in the second half to sign off what has been an outstanding debut season for the Scotsman.
Jordan Henderson – 7
Always showing for the ball and keeping things ticking quickly through the midfield, with a few well-timed interceptions and crunching tackles to put Liverpool back on the front foot.
Henderson has come in for a hefty amount of stick at times this season- often unnecessarily so- but he has stepped up his game significantly over the past few months and ends the season in a rich vein of form heading to Kiev.
Wijnaldum is another player who has really stepped up in recent weeks to great effect after what has been a somewhat patchy season. Sublime at his best, but too often struggling to exert any influence in games.
Here, though, Wijnaldum was everywhere, winning his 50-50 battles and spinning away from opponents with ease. You wish he would keep up this level of performance more regularly.
Roberto Firmino – 7
Did much of his best work in slightly deeper areas than usual, dropping into midfield to link play and feed those in front of him. Looked a lot sharper than he has in the past couple of games when his exertions across the season appeared to have taken their toll.
Ought to have scored himself, guilty of missing a couple of very presentable opportunities in each half. A magnificent season for the Brazilian, and Klopp had the luxury of taking him off early to avoid any risk of picking up an injury ahead of the final.
Mohamed Salah – 9
What more can you say about this man? On the same day as he received the Premier League Player of the Season award, he struck his 32nd league goal of the season to confirm the Golden Boot award despite Harry Kane’s brace against Leicester, before setting up Solanke’s goal in the second half.
Back on form after a few quiet games, and a fitting way to finish what has been a simply sensational debut season from the Egyptian which has surpassed even the wildest of expectations.
Sadio Mane – 7
A real relief to see him fit and available after reports of an injury scare. Not quite as prominent as he has been as of late, but those around him were there to do the business this time round.
Mané has been one of the standout performers of the second half of the season and despite being overshadowed by Salah and Firmino to an extent, he has cemented his status as an integral cog in the machine Klopp is building.
Dominic Solanke – 8
A surprise inclusion in the starting lineup, but Solanke seized the opportunity, flicking the ball into Salah’s path for the opening goal before hammering the ball home as Salah turned provider in the second half, finally notching his first goal in Liverpool colours after what has been a really difficult and frustrating season for the youngster.
His effort and application can never be faulted, though, and it was a brilliant moment for him to finally get his name on the scoresheet and end the campaign on a real positive heading into next season.
Starting XI average rating: 7.72
Adam Lallana, on for Sadio Mané – 74’ – N/A
Danny Ings, on for Roberto Firmino – 84’ – N/A
Ben Woodburn, on for Mohamed Salah– 84’ – N/A
Subs not used: Mignolet, Clyne, Klavan, Moreno
Jurgen Klopp – 10
Opted to play Dominic Solanke rather than Adam Lallana, lining up his side in a 4-2-3-1 formation for the first time this season. It worked very well.
To lead Liverpool to back-to-back Champions League qualifications for the first time in eight years, in his first two full seasons at the club is a supremely impressive achievement.