Liverpool improved significantly as the game went on to seal a priceless 2-0 win at Wolves that saw the majority of Jurgen Klopp‘s starting lineup shine.
The Reds headed to Molineux looking to keep up their lead at the top of the Premier League, but knew their in-form hosts could prove a stumbling block.
Liverpool now head the table for Christmas, which could bode well for their hopes of lifting the Premier League title come May.
Encouragingly, many of Klopp’s players are in excellent, consistent form as the midway point of the season nears, with Salah, Van Dijk, Fabinho and Jordan Henderson among those in top form in the West Midlands.
But what did journalists and statistics make of Liverpool’s eighth win in the last 10 games?
The two standouts are clear, with Van Dijk (8.7) and Salah (8.5) by far the highest-rated players for not only their goals but their overall contribution to the win.
“Swotted the jet fuelled heels of Adama Traore away as he would a disgruntled fly, finally picks up his goal with a lovely finish. Best defender in the league,” assessed Anfield Index’s Oliver Emmerson.
The Liverpool Echo‘s Ian Doyle described Salah as “a joy to watch on this form,” adding that he “[didn’t give] the Wolves defence a moment’s peace.”
Fabinho (7.7) was the next-highest, with the Brazilian recovering from an early error to produce another excellent display alongside Henderson at the base of the midfield.
Alisson (7.2), like his compatriot, also responded well to a slip-up—his coming against Man United last time out—to enjoy an evening where he “bailed out a number of his team-mates’ numerous errors,” according to ESPN’s Glenn Price.
Interestingly, despite his strong performance given more freedom, Henderson (7.0) was only given an average rating, with Price deeming the captain a six-out-of-10, noting his “role was less glamorous [than Fabinho‘s], but important nonetheless.”
The statistics followed a similar trend, with Van Dijk and Salah the two best performers, but perhaps the most notable rating came for Sadio Mane, who was widely perceived to have been in average form.
A miserable 6.4 for Naby Keita was an accurate reflection of the Guinean’s poor display, however, with the summer arrival struggling to overcome an aggressive approach from Wolves and looking short of confidence.
Keita was substituted before the hour due to foot and rib problems, and it could be that he misses out as Liverpool take on Newcastle on Boxing Day.