The Reds took another huge step towards Champions League qualification with a solitary Firmino goal being enough to secure all 3 points at the Hawthorns. A number of players impressed but who got Jack Hallows’ man of the match? And did Twitter agree?
Simon Mignolet: 8 – A superb one on one stop at his near post to deny Matt Phillips was all he really had to do from a saves perspective but it was during the last 10-15 minutes that Mignolet really impressed.
His decisiveness when coming for high balls into the Reds box was much needed and he provided a confident looking presence between the sticks.
Nathaniel Clyne: 7.5 – Offered an outlet down the right constantly and found himself in some very good positions around the West Brom box.
Was impressive in the physical battle with the Albion attackers despite them boasting far more height and presence and didn’t shy away from a challenge.
Jöel Matip: 9 (Jack’s Man of the Match) – Absolutely superb. He was always going to be key in a game like this and it didn’t matter what he was faced with, he just dealt with it. Highballs were headed away, tackles were timed to perfection, blocks were made with ease and his calm and collected presence on the ball was a welcome sight. Fantastic performance.
Dejan Lovren: 7.5 – Started slightly shakily with a number of passes in the first half failing to convince but improved as the match went on.
Was impressive aerially but looked more vulnerable once the West Brom attackers took to running at him in an attempt to get one on one with him. A clean sheet is the proof that he did more than enough, however.
James Milner: 7 – Solid at best on the back foot and loses half a mark for missing what can really only be called a ‘harsh sitter’ for a professional footballer in the second half.
Was impressive late on as he got himself stuck into tackles to deny West Brom’s wide players the opportunity to get crosses into the box and put his body on the line for the result.
Lucas Leiva: 7 – A typically rough performance from the Brazilian who refused to be bullied by the height and strength of West Brom’s midfield.
Got the assist for Firmino’s goal with a well-taken flick-on header and provided a surprising number of smart balls in behind the home side’s backline.
Emre Can: 8 – Another week, another physical battle, another superb performance from the German. Can has been on absolute fire in recent weeks and his form continued at the Hawthorns as he scrapped and tussled his way to midfield dominance throughout.
Used the ball well too and looked to distribute passes forward at a far quicker tempo than he has done previously this season.
Gini Wijnaldum: 7 – Kept possession ticking over and provided a calm influence on the ball late on in the game when the Reds were under the kosh. Struggled to really provide any attacking influence but was full of his typical industry and ability to just keep the game flowing.
Roberto Firmino: 8.5 (Twitter’s Man of the Match) – Probably his best 90 minutes in a Reds shirt this calendar year. The Brazilian pressed incessantly for the entirety of the match and provided most of the Reds attacking and creative threat throughout.
Was unlucky not to get on the score sheet even earlier than he did when he sent a left-footed effort just wide of the far post before taking his goal superbly at the back post. His dribbling was also absolutely on point throughout as he left opposition players stumbling around regularly.
Divock Origi: 8 – Was unlucky not to get on the score sheet to be fair as Firmino was adjudged marginally offside in the build-up to him nodding the ball into the net during the second half. Worked hard, held the ball up well and on the rare occasion, he was afforded space he used his pace and physicality well to burst the Reds up the field.
Philippe Coutinho: 7 – Not quite as electric as he has been of late but still managed to create a couple of brilliant chances for teammates – not least the perfectly weighted ball he slipped through for Firmino in the first half.
Worked hard up front as he looked to contribute to the press and more often than not made the right decision in possession.
Daniel Sturridge: 6 – Brought on to try and give Liverpool some extra sharpness on the counter attack but didn’t receive enough service to really impact the match.
Alberto Moreno: N/A – What. A. Miss.
Jurgen Klopp: 8 – Can’t fault Kloppo really. Played the best XI he had available to him in his preferred system and looked to have his players implement the press as early as he could.
Also didn’t look to blatantly shut up shop after taking the lead nor chase another goal, preferring to let the Reds pick away as they had been so as not to interrupt the flow as they took the ascension. If I had to be picky, I would’ve liked to see Sturridge a little earlier.