Liverpool 5-1 Toulouse
Europa League (3), Anfield
October 26, 2023
Goals: Jota 9′, Endo 30′, Nunez 34′, Gravenberch 65′, Salah 90′; Dallinga 16′
Caoimhin Kelleher (out of 10) – 7
Being ultra-critical, the young Irishman arguably didn’t make himself big enough for Toulouse’s equaliser, and he gave the ball away clumsily at the start of the second half which needed Trent to bail him out on.
But he was otherwise reliable with his handling and distribution and made a good save late on.
Trent Alexander-Arnold – 7
Alexander-Arnold captained Liverpool and he produced a good if relatively quiet performance in his hybrid role.
There was some typical techincal class on show as he drifted into midfield, although he arguably didn’t cover himself in glory for Toulouse’s opener.
Cruised through proceedings.
Joel Matip – 7
Matip has been impressive this season and this was another accomplished outing from him, in what is a pleasing return to form.
The 32-year-old was good in possession and largely reliable in his defensive work, and he has done his chances of featuring more prominently in the coming weeks no harm.
Joe Gomez – 7
Playing as the left-sided centre-back, Gomez had the tough task of helping out youngster Luke Chambers, and he will be pleased with his efforts overall.
The Englishman did step out for the equaliser, leaving a gap in behind, but the positives outweighed the negatives.
Luke Chambers – 7
It was a special night for Chambers, who was handed his first-ever Liverpool start, taking advantage of Andy Robertson‘s absence.
While he wasn’t necessarily great for Toulouse’s goal, failing to make the high line work, he didn’t look out of place and got forward to support the attack.
Hopefully the second of many appearances.
Wataru Endo – 8
Endo has struggled to fully make his mark in a Liverpool shirt to date, but this was a memorable night for him for one key reason.
The Japanese expertly steered a header into the net to put the Reds 2-1 up – his maiden goal for the club – and his teammates were delighted during the celebrations.
Aside from that, he was neat and tidy in the No.6 role and is improving with each match that comes his way. Clearly a hard worker!
Curtis Jones – 8
Jones was in bullish spirits in his press conference earlier in the week, and while not the pick of Liverpool’s players, he was again a strong performer.
Switched to the right-sided No.8 position rather than his preferred left-sided berth, the 22-year-old retained possession expertly, worked hard and generally had echoes of Gini Wijnaldum about him.
This feels like a massive season for Jones, who has more of a presence about him now.
Ryan Gravenberch – 9 (Man of the Match)
What on earth were Bayern Munich playing at getting rid of Gravenberch?
The Dutchman was fantastic, with his ability to run at players so easy on the eye, and Toulouse unable to deal with his dynamism.
With each passing week, the more it looks as though Gravenberch is an absolute steal, and he scored Liverpool’s fourth goal from close-range.
Got a standing ovation when he was substituted, prior to receiving a huge hug from Jurgen Klopp and shortly after his first Anfield goal.
Harvey Elliott – 7
Elliott was used further up the pitch in the absence of Mohamed Salah from the starting lineup, and he was solid more than anything here.
The youngster has clearly grown as a player hugely in recent times and now looks like a really established member of the squad.
Still only 20, but improving all the time.
Darwin Nunez – 8
Nunez has looked sharp of late, assisting Salah against Everton last weekend, and his eye-catching form carried on at Anfield.
Liverpool’s relentless No.9 put the Reds 3-1 up with a ruthless finish, and his pace and power made him a constant threat throughout the night.
Produced one unfathomable miss in the lead-up to Gravenberch’s goal, summing up his raw nature, but there was so much to admire about him.
Earlier had provided another very Darwin moment with some superb backtracking then almost comically losing the ball in the middle of the pitch. What an enigma!
Diogo Jota – 8
The Portuguese scored a magnificent solo goal to open the scoring, gliding past players and finishing in classy fashion, and he looked like a man on a mission on and off the ball.
Liverpool’s best finisher.
Jarell Quansah (on for Chambers, 66′) – 6
The game felt over when he came on, but was reliable at the back.
Cody Gakpo (on for Alexander-Arnold, 66′) – 6
Fairly quiet cameo, but great to see him back after injury.
Calum Scanlon (on for Nunez, 66′) – 7
A Liverpool debut, on a special night. Looked full of pace from left-back.
Mohamed Salah (on for Gravenberch, 70′) – 7
Scored his customary goal in emphatic fashion in stoppage time.
James McConnell (on for Jones, 88′) – n/a
Professional debut late in the day. Congratulations!
Subs not used: Alisson, Jaros, Van Dijk, Tsimikas, Szoboszlai, Mac Allister, Diaz
Jurgen Klopp – 8
The Liverpool boss will have been so pleased with his team’s performance, with fringe players coming in and shining, not to mention stellar figures being given a rest.
There was a time when the backup options on offer for a Europa League game were weak, but Klopp has built one of the Reds’ best-ever squads.
It’s onto Forest this weekend, in a game that should see three more points picked up.