Merseyside is Red! Jürgen Klopp 3 – 0 Everton as it stands with an aggregate score of 8-1. Does it get any sweeter? It certainly does not. Here’s Jack Hallows’ player ratings – two Reds were so good he couldn’t separate them for the Man of the Match award!
Simon Mignolet: 7 – Didn’t have huge amounts to do in the first half and couldn’t have done anything about the goal with the ball falling cruelly to the player right in front of the goalmouth. Made a smart stop to deny Holgate from range 20 minutes from time.
Nathaniel Clyne: 6.5 – Not his best game in a Reds shirt at all. Misplaced passes both short and long – especially early on in the match – and looked a little unsure whenever Baines and Barkley looked to double up on him.
Jöel Matip: 7 – A solid performance from the Cameroonian who looked to play the role of the more conservative defender in the Reds backline. Looked a little slow in possession at times but in the end his safety approach helped to calm things down at the back when needed and can’t be faulted too much.
Dejan Lovren: 9 (Joint Man of the Match) – The more proactive of the two central defenders in his first start in over a month. Won his aerial duels over Lukaku with a solid consistency and held his position superbly throughout. There was as a lot of debate over whether he was deserving of a return over Klavan but he reinforced just why Klopp felt he was the right man for the job.
James Milner: 7 – Not great but not bad from Milner. Passing radar seemed to be miles off target in the first half at times as he played some aimless balls forward but like many of his team mates he improved as the game went on. Linked up well with Coutinho.
Lucas Leiva: 7 – Not an outstanding game from the veteran Brazilian but it was a performance he can be happy with. Helped to keep Lukaku quiet by picking his moments of when to drop in between the centre backs and when to shield ahead. Used the ball well in the second half after a slow start to the game. Assisted Coutinho’s goal.
Emre Can: 8.5 – Started slowly but soon picked up where he left off prior to the international break with another solid performance. Used his strength well to frustrate Barkley and negate Gueye while he was at times very clever with the ball in and around the box.
Gini Wijnaldum: 7 – The more conservative of the midfield three as he looked simply to be in the right place at the right time and serve as somewhat of a pendulum in possession.
Sadio Mané: 8 – Opened the scoring with an absolute blinder of a run and finish, leaving Robles with no chance. Wasn’t given huge amounts of service otherwise before being withdrawn worryingly around the hour mark with a nasty looking ankle injury. Hopefully won’t be out for too long.
Roberto Firmino: 7 – A typical Bobby performance full of hard work, pressing and smart flicks. Offered little in terms of goal threat but set up the first and his link up play with both Mane and Coutinho was a joy to watch at times. Looked a little lost later on when shifted out wide.
Philippe Coutinho: 9 (Joint Man of the Match) – What a belter of a goal. Had a sighter 10 minutes earlier that forced a good save from Robles before dribbling through half the Everton midfield and defence to stick a trademark curler in the corner. Looked much sharper on the ball and set up Origi’s strike with a perfectly timed and weighted pass to take the defender out of the game.
Divock Origi: 7.5 – Took his goal with aplomb as he thundered the ball past a hapless Robles just 3 minutes after coming on – his 9th of the season in all competitions. A good sign ahead of what’s likely to be a run of games in the starting XI with Mane’s injury.
Trent Alexander-Arnold: 7 – Was so close to his first senior goal as he hammered an Emre Can cutback and forced a superb save from Robles. Full of energy and provided a constant outlet down the right hand side after his introduction.
Ragnar Klavan: N/A – Sent on to shore it up at the back.
Jūrgen Klopp: 9 – Can’t fault him. Set up to prevent the service coming in to Lukaku by negating the Everton wing backs and had his centre backs stick to the Belgian like glue. Lucas looked a wild card to start with but the Brazilian’s job of closing down any potential service around the box made him just as important as anyone else on the field. Smart tactics from the manager.