Liverpool 2-0 Everton
Premier League (9), Anfield
October 21, 2023
Goals: Salah pen 75′, 90+7′
Alisson – 7 (out of 10)
Safe hands on the odd occasion he needed them and quick off his line to defuse any Everton forward thrust.
A quiet afternoon under the sun and subsequently the driving rain for the Brazilian, who now has three clean sheets for the season.
Trent Alexander-Arnold – 7
From the off, was positioned very high on the pitch and found himself in inviting spaces to attack, but his deliveries into the box readily went well beyond the intended target.
The ball was often funnelled his way as Liverpool looked to break Everton open but it was his accuracy that was lacking.
Ibrahima Konate – 7
Incredibly, this was only his first league start since the second matchweek – not that you could tell, aside from a sloppy backpass early on.
On the front foot and strong in the challenge, Konate was accurate with the ball at his feet and on hand when the Reds needed to clear their lines.
Though, he was very lucky to avoid a second yellow, with Klopp acting quickly to take him out of the firing line.
Virgil van Dijk – 8
Van Dijk’s form has been somewhat underappreciated to start the season and here he was, again, his usual composed self both in the air and with the ball at his feet.
The captain was alert to any danger and ended the match with the second-most touches of any player on the pitch.
Kostas Tsimikas – 5
He will have known all eyes were on him after Andy Robertson‘s injury and it was a mixed bag from Tsimikas.
On one hand, you had the player capable of whipping a dangerous delivery into the box and the other was careless in giving away possession and gifting needless free kicks – his withdrawal on the hour mark speaking volumes.
Alexis Mac Allister – 7
Despite the demanding international fortnight, it was another start at No. 6 for Mac Allister after Klopp insisted he had “no doubts” over his ability in the role.
Was ponderous on the ball on occasion, as we’ve come to know a little too well, but on the flip side, gave us a number of beautiful penetrating passes to open Everton up.
Dominik Szoboszlai – 7
He’s just a force to be reckoned with, isn’t he? Readily bursting through the middle of the pitch and with lethal warning shots on goal.
Not as prominent when tasked with swapping to the left of midfield after Tsimikas’ withdrawal, but he never stopped running whether with the ball or without it.
Szobo is a delight to watch.
Ryan Gravenberch – 8
A deserved first Premier League start and the occasion did not faze the 21-year-old, who showed off his ability to shield the ball and keep it moving at pace.
Composed and one to draw the opposition into making a foul, you wonder why Bayern were willing to let him go – he has settled in brilliantly at Anfield.
Mohamed Salah – 7
It is not common to see Salah string poor touches together but he was the poster boy for what one can expect from an early derby kickoff straight after an international break.
Just a fraction off his the pace and his own world-class standards made that abundantly clear, but, thankfully, his down day did not interfere when it came to the match-defining moments.
First from the penalty spot and then closing out the match from close range for his seventh and eighth goals of the season, that’s what world-class talents do.
Luis Diaz – 8 (Man of the Match)
Drew Ashley Young into making two yellow card worthy challenges in the first-half with his persistence on the left wing, handing the Reds a one-man advantage for 53 minutes.
Like others in the opening half, his final pass saw promising moves fizzle out but he was the one injecting pace into the final third and, crucially, made the pass that hit Michael Keane’s outstretched hand for the penalty.
Was asked to play left-wing back before his substitution, capping off his influential outing.
Diogo Jota – 5
The joint-fewest touches of any Red (19) in the first half, alongside Salah, made for an anonymous start for Jota, who was again leading the line.
A swap to the left wing late on got him more involved in proceedings but despite his obvious efforts, not a lot came off for him this time.
Probably needs to do more in these types of games when starting as the No.9.
Harvey Elliott (on for Gravenberch, 62′) – 7 – Sixth match as a substitute and he again proved influential – bright, proactive and was unlucky not to have a goal to his name. 100% pass completion in his half hour cameo.
Darwin Nunez (on for Tsimikas, 62′) – 7 – Assertive and made the break for Salah’s second, timing his pass to perfection.
Joel Matip (on for Konate, 66′) – 6 – Did exactly what he needed to, didn’t need any more from him than that.
Joe Gomez (on for Diaz, 80′) – 6 – The third player used at left-back, a sign of things to come while Robertson is sidelined.
Subs not used: Kelleher, Quansah, Scanlon, Endo, McConnell
Jurgen Klopp – 8
Liverpool carved Everton open on the counter attack time and time again in the first half but were consistently let down by their final pass in what was, overall, a sluggish match.
The Reds were far from their best as a collective and ought to have wrapped up the match earlier than they did, but walking away with all three points is all that matters after one point from the previous two league games.
This will not go down as a Merseyside derby classic, far from it, but thankfully the weekend starts on the perfect note and Klopp’s brilliant fist pumps showed exactly what that one meant.