Liverpool cruised to a superb 5-0 victory over Huddersfield on Friday, returning to the top of the Premier League in style.
Liverpool 5-0 Huddersfield
Premier League, Anfield
April 26, 2019
Goals: Keita 1′, Mane 23′, 66′, Salah 45′, 83′
Alisson (out of 10) – 7
Alisson was as big a spectator as the Anfield crowd at times, rarely being tested and simply giving the ball to the centre-backs.
He hasn’t had an easier game all season, although he did make one solid save to deny Juninho Bacuna from distance.
It was a curious night for Alexander-Arnold, who is looking a little off the boil defensively at the moment.
He was given a tough time by the lively Karlan Grant in the first half, often showing a lack of positional sense.
The youngster did produce a wonderful pass for Mohamed Salah‘s first, though—Liverpool’s third of the night—and improved a lot as the match went on.
Dejan Lovren – 7
Lovren came in for Joel Matip at the heart of the defence and he did well, showing aggression and rarely looking troubled.
The Croatian will have far harder nights at the office, however, and he likely won’t start at Barcelona on Wednesday, with Matip more than justifying a starting berth.
Lucky to get away with one reckless piece of defending early in the second half, but was good.
Virgil van Dijk – 8
The newly crowned PFA Player of the Year was typically imperious at the heart of the Reds’ defence, as his remarkable season continues.
He headed over, too, on an immaculate night.
Andy Robertson – 8
It is a shock if Robertson doesn’t play to a high standard every game and he kept up his consistently excellent campaign on Friday night.
The left-back registered his 12th and 13th assists of the season, curling in a beautiful cross for Mane to head home and teeing up Salah too.
Eye-catching in all facets of his play—surely one of the world’s best left-backs.
Gini Wijnaldum – 7
Used in the No. 6 role again, as was the case at Cardiff on Sunday, Wijnaldum was understated but effective in front of the defence.
He was neat and tidy on the ball, showcasing his ability to get rid of it early and find pockets of space, and his work rate was as good as ever.
Like so many, he rarely broke a sweat in comparison to other matches this season.
Naby Keita – 8
Keita’s form has been one of the most pleasing aspects of the last few weeks and this was another hugely positive evening for Liverpool’s No. 8.
He fired some with just 15 seconds on the clock—the Reds’ fastest-ever goal in the Premier League—and his off-the-ball work was excellent.
Next season will see Keita go up another gear, which is an exciting prospect, but he still has a major part to play in 2018/19.
Jordan Henderson – 7
Retained in a more forward-thinking midfield position, Henderson kept up his form with a lively performance at Anfield.
He looks so much happier with more freedom and his box-to-box style was on show throughout, biting into tackles and also showing class in possession.
The captain skied an effort over the crossbar when he should have done better, but put in a lovely cross for Mane to score his second header of the game.
Mohamed Salah – 8
Salah played like a man stinging at not being named in the PFA’s Team of the Year, as his vast influence shone through yet again.
He looked on it from minute one, causing nightmares for the Huddersfield defence, and he assisted Keita’s record-breaking opener.
The Egyptian got his name on the scoresheet just before the break, too, finishing with aplomb, before tapping home to go clear on his own at the top of the Premier League scoring charts.
Nearly scored an outrageous volley in front of the Kop, which would have capped off a great display.
Sadio Mane – 9 (Man of the Match)
Mane has been exceptional since the turn of the year and the Senegalese kept up his brilliance against a beleaguered Terriers outfit, proving to be Liverpool’s star man.
His darting runs and clever movement made life hell for the visitors, much like Salah, and his lethal header was his 23rd goal of the campaign.
It was 24 in the second half and he should have scored a hat-trick of headers, but hit the post with the goal gaping.
Mane still actually feels underrated by the wider footballing public, but he is a wonderful footballer who remains priceless to this Reds side.
Daniel Sturridge – 5
Sturridge made his first start since January in the absence of Roberto Firmino, but he was comfortably the poorest performer and looked on another wavelength to his team-mates.
He didn’t have the dynamism and creativity of Firmino and he was guilty of holding onto the ball for too long—something that infuriated both Klopp and the Anfield crowd.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (on for Sturridge, 73′) – 7
Almost scored within minutes, which would have been a glorious moment. Great to have him back.
Xherdan Shaqiri (on for Wijnaldum, 73′) – 6
Looked lively and played a big part in Salah’s second goal.
Joe Gomez (on for Alexander-Arnold, 88′) – N/A
Only on the pitch for a few minutes, but received a warm reception when he came on.
Subs not used: Mignolet, Matip, Milner, Origi
Jurgen Klopp – 8
Klopp made a point of expressing the importance of this game, rather than overly focusing on a huge Champions League tie with Barcelona.
He got a scintillating performance out of his side, as their attacking brilliance came to the fore on a rampant night on Merseyside.
It’s now 91 points for the season, meaning Liverpool have overtaken the tally achieved by Arsenal‘s ‘Invincibles’ back in 2003/04.
That’s all down to Klopp and the winning mentality he has instilled in his team.
Player ratings definitions: 10 = Faultless | 9 = Excellent | 8 = Very Good | 7 = Good | 6 = Average | 5 = Below Par | 4 = Bad | 3 = Very Bad | 2 Awful | 1 = Surely Not