Liverpool 4-1 Chelsea
Premier League (22), Anfield
January 31, 2024
Goals: Jota 23′, Bradley 39′, Szoboszlai 65′, Diaz 79′; Nkunku 71′
Alisson (out of 10) – 8
This was nothing more than a typically easy night for Alisson, who wasn’t tested much but dealt with everything that came his way.
He came out quickly to claim a ball early on as Raheem Sterling raced through, and his handling and distribution were faultless.
Could do nothing about Christopher Nkunku’s goal.
Conor Bradley – 10 (Man of the Match)
Bradley has impressed so much of late, but this was another level from him – a performance for the ages, in fact.
The right-back was a joy to watch in every aspect of his game, and the reception he received when he was substituted was richly deserved.
A masterclass that Trent would have been proud of.
Ibrahima Konate – 9
Konate has been imperious this season and he was no different here, as he even outperformed Virgil van Dijk.
Everything that the Frenchman did was purposeful, whether it be his use of the ball or bite in the tackle, and his pace help mopped up a number of potential counter-attacks.
The second-best centre-back in the Premier League currently.
Virgil van Dijk – 8
The Liverpool captain returned to the starting lineup after a weekend breather, and he coasted through much of the game.
He was possibly lucky not to concede two penalties, however – VAR decided neither were spot-kicks – so he wasn’t perfect by his ridiculous standards.
Still, Van Dijk was dominant overall, as his great season continues.
Joe Gomez – 8
Gomez continued at left-back despite the return of Andy Robertson, and he was yet again impressive.
The 26-year-old sprayed some nice passes and kept Noni Madueke quiet, although he didn’t come close to breaking his goal duck.
What a great performer he has become this season.
Alexis Mac Allister – 9
Mac Allister’s return was a big boost for Liverpool and he was magnificent in front of the defence, producing so much class in possession.
In tight areas, he was press-resistant and capable of breaking the lines, and he was also ferocious off the ball, pressing and tackling at will.
It’s fair to say he got the better of former Brighton team-mate Moises Caicedo – hopefully his late injury isn’t a serious one.
Dominik Szoboszlai – 8
Szoboszlai was handed his first start since the 4-2 win over Newcastle on New Year’s Day, and for large chunks he was solid more than anything.
One perfect long-range pass highlighted his effortless natural ability, as did a lovely dummy, but his industry and discipline stood out the most.
Then he went and scored a bullet header, however, earning him an extra point.
Curtis Jones – 8
Jones has arguably been Liverpool’s best midfielder this season, and like Szoboszlai, he was a key cog in the machine more than a star man.
The Reds hero was denied by a good save from Dordje Petrovic in the first half, but otherwise, he kept things ticking over and worked hard.
Diogo Jota – 10
Has Jota ever played better than this for Liverpool?
Once again, the Portuguese played a huge role in a Reds win, bundling through tackles and finishing well to give Jurgen Klopp‘s side the lead.
An absolute winner.
Luis Diaz – 9
Diaz started in his customary left-sided role with Mohamed Salah still unavailable, and he was excellent.
The Colombian gave Axel Disasi plenty of worries and it was his pass that teed-up Bradley to make it 2-0 before half-time.
Scored his eighth goal of the season, firing home in front of the Kop, and his quality and endeavour epitomised Liverpool’s performance.
Darwin Nunez – 8
Nunez’s form has been so promising in recent matches and this was an absolutely wild performance from him.
Several efforts saw him denied by the crossbar or the post – he had countless other strikes – but his missed penalty was disappointing.
Never out of the game, unpredictable, so much fun and assisted Diaz – a little more ruthlessness would have made for an unbelievable showing.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (on for Bradley, 67′) – 7
Oozed class – and no doubt wanted to remind people he exists after Bradley’s display!
Andy Robertson (on for Gomez, 67′) – 6
Fairly quiet, but did a solid job.
Harvey Elliott (on for Szoboszlai, 67′) – 6
Feisty cameo, but has had bigger impacts this season.
Cody Gakpo (on for Jota, 67′) – 7
Looked lively as Liverpool threatened to run riot.
Bobby Clark (on for Jones, 82′) – 6
Not enough time to make a proper impact.
Subs not used: Kelleher, Quansah, McConnell, Gravenberch
Jurgen Klopp – 10
Klopp may be leaving this summer, but he has made it clear that focus won’t be affected between now and the end of the season.
It was hard to have any qualms about his starting XI, with Alexander-Arnold and Robertson needing to be eased back in, and his faith in Bradley couldn’t have paid off any more handsomely.
The Liverpool manager loved that moment, and much of his team’s performance, and they are purring ahead of Sunday’s trip to Arsenal.
Win that and we really can start to dream!