Finally, a first league win of 2017 for Liverpool and what a win. The Reds got up on Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield for the second time this season – having beaten them in the EFL Cup too – and absolutely bossed the match. Here are some very positive player ratings from Jack Hallows.
Simon Mignolet: 8 – Can’t fault him really. Looked to get the ball up the field at every opportunity, caught everything he had to and made a superb save off Son in the first half to keep Liverpool’s clean sheet intact. A very good response after his Hull performance last weekend.
Nathaniel Clyne: 8 – Got forward superbly and put in a couple of decent low crosses in the first half. However, it was defensively where he impressed the most, shutting down Dele Alli and Heung-Min Son superbly throughout.
Jöel Matip: 8 – A rash challenge in the second half earned him a yellow card but this was a much-improved performance from Matip who it has to be said has looked rusty of late. The Cameroonian was imposing in the air, strong in the tackle and made a number of smart interceptions.
Lucas: 8 – Had a very sound match in fairness. Kept it simple, lumped the ball long when he had to and opted to just take the safe route whenever possible which is something the Reds defence doesn’t do enough. Won his aerial duels regularly and gave nothing to Harry Kane during his time on the field.
James Milner: 7 – A far better game from Milner than we’ve seen of late. Set piece deliveries still left a lot to be desired and he was still too eager to jump into the occasional challenge but you can’t complain when he’s kept Eriksen and Walker entirely out of the game offensively.
Jordan Henderson: 8 – The first of all round high ratings for our midfield from me. Picked up a yellow card in the second half for a rash challenge on Alli but aside from that, he was brilliant. Won aerial duels, looked to be a nuisance and get at Dembele and Wanyama and most importantly looked decisive and slick in his passing.
Gini Wijnaldum: 8.5 – He’s honestly so understated it’s incredible but the Dutchman showed exactly why he should be on the team sheet ahead of Emre Can every single week. His defensive contributions were impressive and his through ball for Mané to run onto and fire past Lloris in the first half was sublime.
Adam Lallana: 8 – Pressed brilliantly throughout and looked far more encouraging off the ball than he has done in recent weeks. Looks so much more at home in the central midfield position and was unlucky not to score in the first half.
Sadio Mané: 9 – Boom. Boom. Two counter-attacks, two superb finishes, two goals. The Senegalese was on absolute fire throughout the match and could’ve had a hat-trick had his effort just moments after his second goal squeezed through Lloris’ legs. Looked on cloud nine throughout and his confidence certainly doesn’t look too damaged by the AFCON penalty miss.
Roberto Firmino: 7.5 – Like his countryman, he struggled to have the same impact up top as Mané did but will feel unlucky not to have scored in the first half despite his saved shot teeing up Mané for his second. Worked hard as is the norm to the point of even closing down Lloris at one point. His lack of goal contributions continues but there were better signs from him and you won’t see a better contribution to a high press.
Philippe Coutinho: 7 – Worked hard and produced a couple of stunning cross-field passes but still hasn’t seemed to hit full throttle. Had two decent efforts at goal but sent one straight at Hugo Lloris and skewed his other just wide of the far post. Encouraging signs however as he certainly looked far more up for it.
Emre Can: 7 – Brought on for some extra physicality as Coutinho began to fade in the second half and did his job by providing extra solidity in the midfield.
Ragnar Klavan: N/A – Brought on for Lucas who was taken off with an injury and like Can, did his job exactly how Klopp would have hoped.
Trent Alexander-Arnold: N/A – Brought on to give Mané a chance for a standing ovation.
Jürgen Klopp: 9 – Can’t fault Jurgen whatsoever. Restored Wijnaldum to the starting line-up ahead of Can, started his favoured three up front which allowed Lallana to play in the midfield and didn’t waver in his nerve across the 90 minutes. Impressively, it looked as if the Reds had a very specific game plan to beat Spurs and it worked wonders. Played smart, slick football in the first half to get ahead, then shut up shop, caused chaos and hit them on the counter in the second. Well done Kloppo.
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