Liverpool beat Everton 1-0 in truly remarkable fashion on Sunday afternoon, although numerous Reds players were not at their best.
Liverpool 1-0 Everton
Premier League, Anfield
December 2, 2018
Goals: Origi (90′)
Alisson – 8
The Brazilian played his first-ever Merseyside derby and he was again an impressive figure.
He made a huge save to deny Andre Gomes from point-blank range and also did enough to put off Theo Walcott as he attempted to go round him.
That’s what £60million gets you.
Trent Alexander-Arnold – 6.5
A boyhood Red, Alexander-Arnold looked up for the occasion from minute one and was good on the whole.
His quality on the ball often stood out, even though some of his dead-ball delivery proved frustrating, and he teamed up well with Xherdan Shaqiri down the right flank in first-half.
Joe Gomez – 7
Gomez returned to his strongest centre-back role in place of Dejan Lovren and he shone, barring a late booking for hauling down Richarlison.
The 21-year-old made a miraculous goal-line clearance to deny Gomes, with his speed of thought keeping the score at 0-0.
Another performance that belied his tender years.
Virgil van Dijk – 7
Authoritative, a towering presence when it came to aerial battles and silky in possession, he kept the dangerous Richarlison quiet.
Andy Robertson – 7
It’s rare that you get even a mediocre performance from Robertson and this was yet another strong showing.
His relentless energy gave Liverpool an extra attacking dimension down the left but he was also switched on defensively.
What a signing he has been.
Fabinho – 6.5
Restored to the side with Henderson suspended, Fabinho did well in his maiden derby, not that his influence always caught the eye.
The 25-year-old did so much effective off-the-ball work that went unnoticed, biting into tackles and using his physicality to good effect.
Still not quite the monster the Reds were expecting to see when he signed in the summer – he got worse as the game went on – but improving all the time.
Gini Wijnaldum – 6
Wijnaldum yet again started, despite Naby Keita being pushing to feature, but he was one of the Reds’ quieter players at Anfield.
That’s not to say he was poor, by any means, with his work-rate excellent throughout and his relationship alongside Fabinho effective, but you wanted more from him.
Roberto Firmino – 4.5
Liverpool’s No.9 returned to a No.10 role as Jurgen Klopp opted for a 4-2-3-1 formation, but he was way short of his best.
A few sloppy early passes set the tone, and although he shot wide and hit the target from distance, he never looked happy deeper.
His poorest display for a long time.
Xherdan Shaqiri – 6
The Swiss was given a chance to shine in one his biggest games for Liverpool so far and he flitted in and out of the contest.
One lovely early cross just drifted out of the reach of his teammates and he should have opened the scoring after being put clean-through.
Booked for a cynical foul and substituted after the break.
Sadio Mane – 7
Mane has arguably been the Reds’ most consistent attacking player this season and he was exactly that on Sunday afternoon.
The 26-year-old was always looking to make things happen, with one beautiful pass just evading Mohamed Salah, but he missed two great opportunities, too.
A really lively afternoon at the office but he failed to take the numerous chances that fell his way.
Mohamed Salah – 6
Salah led the line, as has been the case when Klopp goes with the 4-2-3-1 system, and he was a threat without ever being at his best.
His movement pulled Yerry Mina into uncomfortable areas and he matched him physically despite being far smaller, but his end product was lacking by his high standards.
Narrowly missed the target early in the second half and replaced by Daniel Sturridge late on.
Still questionable whether he’s anywhere near as effective as No.9.
Starting XI Average Rating: 6.45
Naby Keita (on for Shaqiri, 71′) – 6 Failed to make an impact.
Daniel Sturridge (on for Salah, 74′) – 6.5 Showed some nice touches.
Divock Origi (on for Firmino, 84′) – 10 Missed a later sitter, but then scored a stoppage time derby winner – that means 10/10! Redemption for the challenge by Funes Mori that saw Origi miss the Europa League final.
Subs not used: Mignolet, Matip, Moreno, Milner
Jurgen Klopp – 7
You could have few complaints about Klopp’s starting lineup, given its attack-minded nature and the fact that the new ‘Fab Four’ all started.
He didn’t see a great performance from his players but Divock Origi‘s last-gasp winner summed up the new-found winning mentality he has created.
Burnley away up next on Wednesday night.