Liverpool bounced back from a goal down early on to beat Burnley 4-2 on Sunday, with a couple of stand-out performances helping to take the Reds back to within a point of Man City at the top of the Premier League.
With the reigning champions once again playing earlier than the Reds, and winning, it was vital that Jurgen Klopp‘s men rediscovered winning form.
Four points separated the Reds and City at kick-off—and there may have been early fears that this would remain the case, after a helping hand from the officials gifted Burnley the lead.
Liverpool have been far more offensive-minded and dangerous on home soil of late, though, and that again proved to be the case as Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino both notched a brace apiece.
Even a late scare couldn’t prevent the Reds taking all three points and moving back to within one of City and there’s plenty of reason to hope such performances continue.
Here we compare our player ratings with those from the Liverpool Echo, the Mirror, the Independent, Sky Sports, ESPN, FotMob and the This Is Anfield readers.
Unsurprisingly, the two front men who bagged a brace apiece were notable for their high average ratings, with Sadio Mane (8.2) edging out Roberto Firmino (8.1) as the Reds’ best performer.
Mane earned the single highest rating by a writer for any player on the day, with his solitary nine out of 10 coming from ESPN’s Glenn Price, who suggested the forward is “earning himself a reputation as a clinical goalscorer.”
By contrast, the Mirror‘s Andy Dunn thought it was “not [Mane’s] busiest game” and awarded only a seven, despite noting his great strikes.
Firmino in turn hit a couple of well-timed goals, initially equalising for the Reds and later putting them 3-1 up, earning him eight-ratings almost across the board.
TIA’s Joel Rabinowitz spoke of Firmino’s “positive link-up play” and his “smart anticipation”, with movement as much as finishing seeing the Brazilian hit his two goals.
At the other end of the pitch, another imperious display from Virgil van Dijk (7.4) earned him more impressive reviews, with the Echo‘s Ian Doyle highlighting the Dutchman’s aerial dominance.
Rarely is Van Dijk beaten in the air, but it was particularly impressive against a two-pronged Burnley forward line noted for their height, power and direct approach to helping build attacks.
However, it was the midfield performance of the returning Adam Lallana (7.5) which was perhaps the most talked-about aspect of the Reds’ display, with his average score just seeing him edge Van Dijk into Liverpool’s third-best performer on the day.
Doyle claimed Lallana’s performance was “just like the old days, leading the press” while Dunn claimed the midfielder was “back to his effervescent self.”
Whether or not he deserved the man of the match award handed to him by British TV, Rabinowitz makes the point that Lallana “can make an important contribution” for Liverpool across what remains of the season.
There were a couple of below-par displays too, however.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (6.0) and Joel Matip (6.0) picked up the lowest average scores, with both also receiving five out of 10 ratings from the Independent‘s Mark Critchley.
Mohamed Salah (6.6) seemed to be the most divisive figure on the day, picking up as low as 5.1 from the stat-based app FotMob, yet an eight from the Echo and the post-game praise of Jurgen Klopp.
The boss will hope that hitting the goal trail will bode well for the midweek trip back to his homeland, as Liverpool next take on Bayern Munich in the Champions League.
Another similar performance from the Reds in front of goal and the European adventure could yet go on a while.