Liverpool struggled to get going on their return to Anfield as Premier League champions, but eventually got over the line with a 2-0 victory over Aston Villa.
Having stuttered to a 0-0 draw away to Everton in their first game back, the Reds then recorded back-to-back 4-0s, though one saw them emerge winners and the other, last time out at Man City, convincing losers.
It was on Jurgen Klopp‘s side to give an empty Anfield the coronation it deserved, then, when Villa made their way to Merseyside on Sunday.
But it took an hour and a triple substitution for Liverpool to really find a foothold, and it was almost flattering that they came away as 2-0 victors.
Nevertheless, goals from Sadio Mane and Curtis Jones were enough to put away to relegation candidates, and push the Reds on towards their new objective of a record points haul.
So who stood out at the weekend, for better or worse?
Here we compare our player ratings with those from the Liverpool Echo, the Mirror, Sky Sports, The Redmen TV, FotMob and the TIA readers:
The media were unanimous in their praise for Alisson (8.0), who received the highest average rating after keeping the Reds in the game with three saves.
“A calm presence in what was a bit of strange game,” wrote The Redmen TV’s Ross Chandley. “Another clean sheet in the bag.”
The Echo‘s Ian Doyle highlighted how the Brazilian “confidently dealt with a few balls from out wide in difficult conditions,” and then “produced an incredible stop to deny Grealish late on.”
Not far behind Alisson were Mane (7.3) and Naby Keita (7.2), who combined for the opening goal and were two of the brightest among the starting lineup.
Keita was “the only one who looked to create and push for the win in what was a dismal game of football,” in the eyes of Chandley, who called for the Guinean to “start the next game.”
There was a similar level of agreement over the lacklustre performances of Divock Origi (5.0) and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (5.1), while Andy Robertson (5.6) was not spared criticism either.
This Is Anfield’s Karl Matchett bemoaned how “there’s very little invention” from Origi, with Matt Ladson adding elsewhere that “if this was a chance to stake a claim to remain at Anfield this summer, he failed.”
Robertson has “still not shaken off the celebration effects,” according to the Mirror‘s Andy Dunn, with the left-back “nowhere near his best.”
It was interesting that Neco Williams replaced Robertson late on, despite his natural role being on the other flank, and it could be that the Welshman is being considered for a start away to Brighton on Wednesday night.