Adrian wasn’t even warm by the time Martin Atkinson prematurely blew his whistle and Lewis Dunk passed in a cheeky free-kick, which set in motion a late onslaught that, fortunately, Liverpool weathered.
With two goals and an outstanding contribution in defence, Van Dijk (8.8) deservedly averaged the highest rating from Jurgen Klopp‘s starting side.
ESPN’s Liam Wheeler deemed the Dutchman as Man of the Match, and praised him as “a rock at the back again” who “sprayed the ball around like Kevin De Bruyne.”
“Bored of being the best defender in the world,” the Mirror‘s Alex Smith suggested, “[he decided] to do a Cristiano Ronaldo impression in front of goal.”
The creator of Van Dijk’s headed brace, Alexander-Arnold (8.0) was rated similarly high, and Wheeler hailed him for “brilliant attacking display” while Smith joked “that right foot is such a wand it should be shipped off to Hogwarts.”
A harsh 6.2 rating from the This Is Anfield readers let the average down for Sadio Mane (7.2), but he was still considered the Reds’ third-best performer.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (7.0) was the most impressive of Klopp’s midfield trio, and though the Liverpool Echo‘s Ian Doyle argued that he “drifted in and out” he will hope to keep his place next time out.
“What on earth was he doing with the red card?” asked Doyle, while Wheeler lamented a “moment of madness” which will see Adrian start in midweek.
It is another demanding stage for the Spaniard, who would not have expected another outing until perhaps the Club World Cup, but he has previous with stepping up when needed.