Liverpool and Man City played out a tense 0-0 draw in the Premier League on Sunday, with Riyad Mahrez missing a late penalty. But who shone brightest for the Reds?
Liverpool 0-0 Man City
Premier League, Anfield
October 7, 2018
Alisson (out of 10) – 7
The Brazilian had quiet afternoon in general, in what was a cagey encounter with very few opportunities created.
Barring one misplaced pass, his use of the ball was typically composed – if you’re being ultra-praiseworthy, you could argue his giant frame put Mahrez off!
Joe Gomez – 7
Used at right-back in place of Trent Alexander-Arnold, in a surprise move by Jurgen Klopp, Gomez did well up against Raheem Sterling.
Defensively he was impressive, barring one skewed clearance that almost led to Sergio Aguero opening the scoring. He found space whenever he attacked, which wasn’t very often – seemingly that was tactical but perhaps he neeed to have attacked more to take advantage down that side.
Dejan Lovren – 7.5
Lovren was given just his second start of the season, his first in the Premier League, and he was reliable on the whole, without ever looking completely trustworthy.
He was arguably fortunate not to concede two penalties after challenges on Aguero and Gabriel Jesus, but to come in and do well in such a big game was commendable.
Virgil van Dijk – 8
Van Dijk has been one of Liverpool’s outstanding players in 2018/19 to date and he was again somewhere close to immaculate against the champions.
He spent the afternoon barking instructions at teammates and showing great leadership skills, and was dominant aerially throughout.
Conceded that penalty that Mahrez missed, however, which sees his rating drop a little.
Andy Robertson – 7
The Scot hasn’t been at his brilliant best in the last few matches, but he was much improved on Sunday, despite not being perfect.
He didn’t get forward as much as he often does, but given the calibre of Liverpool’s opponents, that is no great shock.
One wonderful pass to Mohamed Salah in the second-half caught the eye, in particular.
Jordan Henderson – 8 (Man of the Match)
Preferred to Naby Keita in the middle of the park, the skipper was constantly in the hub of action, looking more energetic than many of those around him.
His passing was crisp, albeit also a little loose a few times, but the positives outweighed the negatives by far, with his influence unrivalled on the day.
Gini Wijnaldum – 7.5
Wijnaldum was again used in a more attack-minded midfield role, with Henderson playing in the No.6 berth the Dutchman has thrived in.
He did well up against a top-class City midfield, trying to make things happen in possession and working tirelessly to shut down the opposition.
A subtly effective performance.
James Milner – 6
Up against his former club, Milner only lasted 28 minutes before leaving the field with a hamstring injury.
Prior to that, he had been a solid but unnoticed figure in the middle of the park.
Mohamed Salah – 6
Liverpool’s star man has not been himself this season and he was again quiet by his ridiculously high standards of last season.
There were a few glimpses of class, his movement was good and he worked hard up against Benjamin Mendy, but the Reds still need the real Salah back.
A couple of half-chances came his way that would have probably hit the net last season.
Sadio Mane – 6
Mane’s form has also dipped in recent weeks, with fatigue potentially taking its toll, and he struggled to get the better of the equally speedy Kyle Walker.
The endeavour was there, like Salah, but he just seemed a little flat compared to the relentless figure who helped tear City apart last season.
Roberto Firmino – 6
The same as Salah and Mane.
You couldn’t fault Firmino’s attitude, but the ball bounced off him more than it normally does and he didn’t seem to have a huge amount left in the tank when he was replaced by Daniel Sturridge.
Starting XI Average Rating: 6.90
Naby Keita (on for Milner, 29′) – 6 – We need to start seeing more from the Guinean. He tried his best and attempted to make things happen, but often looked a little lost.
Daniel Sturridge (on for Firmino, 72′) – 6.5- Didn’t do a huge amount when he came on, barring a tame header straight at Ederson.
Subs not used: Mignolet, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Fabinho, Shaqiri
Jurgen Klopp – 7
Klopp took the risk of bringing in Lovren, breaking the Gomez-Van Dijk axis that has been so strong this season, but it paid off with another clean sheet.
Liverpool defender excellently and this was further proof of how well-organised the manager has made his side.
Would have been nice to see Xherdan Shaqiri, though.