Jack Hallows gives his first player ratings of the 2017/18 season as Liverpool FC kick off their pre-season with a trip to Tranmere!
First Half XI: Formation – 4-3-3
Loris Karius: 7 – Very little to do in the first half and might as well have been a passenger.
Trent Alexander-Arnold: 7.5 – Combined well with Ojo down the Reds right-hand side and the pace and willingness to run of the pair caused the Tranmere defence all sorts of issues. Delivery into the box was impressive throughout.
Joël Matip: 7.5 – Kept things simple at the back and as is often the case with Cameroonian, rarely looked to break a sweat. Missed an absolute sitter just five minutes in when he blazed a volley over the crossbar from all of six yards.
Lucas Leiva: 7 – Was shredded on one counter attack attempt but Wijnaldum bailed him out. Other than that was impressively solid at the back and did his best to remain as vocal as possible.
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James Milner: 6 – Scored the Reds opener by burying a penalty just after the half hour but overall was fairly poor going forward. Crossing was temperamental at best.
Jordan Henderson: 7 – Great to see the skipper back on the field and he picked up where he left on earlier in the year, keeping things simple, snapping into tackles and pinging passes like a pendulum from the centre of the park.
Gini Wijnaldum: 6.5 – Found it tough to get involved as he’d like. Looked a little off the pace when in possession but pressed intelligently and impressed off the ball.
Marko Grujic: 8 – Came close to opening the scoring with a good effort on the half hour from just inside the box but scored an absolute belter just before half time from outside the area to continue his pre-season goalscoring record. Could’ve kept it simpler at times but looks a real solid player.
Sheyi Ojo: 7.5 – Was Liverpool’s liveliest outlet in the first half, showing a real willingness to run at the defence and cut in onto his favoured left foot. Won a penalty when he used his impressive pace to get to the ball before Tranmere’s keeper.
Roberto Firmino: 7.5 – Flicks, tricks, clever passing and some smart link up play made for a great first half from the Brazilian. Makes football look so effortless.
Daniel Sturridge: 7 – Struggled to carve out any real chances for himself but his hold up play and link up with teammates was impressive throughout.
Second Half XI: Formation – 433
Loris Karius: 7 – Showcased a handful of smart sweeper keeper efforts and made one good save just past the hour mark. Still had very little to do.
Nathaniel Clyne: 7 – Solid if unspectacular. Defended smartly and looked to hang back a lot more than Flanagan on the opposite wing. Was handed the captain’s armband.
Joe Gomez: 7 – Impressed with his use of the ball as he looked to move it forward at every opportunity and start attacks from the back. Showed good pace to prevent counter attacks whenever Tranmere threatened to break.
Ragnar Klavan: 7 – Was playing practically as another centre midfielder for much of the second half as Tranmere looked to just sit in deep and limit the damage. Kept the ball moving well and did his best to provide extra attacking threat.
Jon Flanagan: 7 – Looked to be as positive as possible in the early stages of the second half, bombing on forward and getting into the box as much as he could.
Kevin Stewart: 7 – Kept it solid deep in the midfield and looked to keep his game as simple as possible on the ball. A decent performance in the shop window.
Pedro Chirivella: 7.5 – Tried an outrageous chip early into the second half which would’ve been a stellar finish before netting the Reds third just minutes later after the Tranmere keeper parried Solanke’s initial effort.
Ben Woodburn: 8 – Started in central midfield as he did in Sydney in a different move from Klopp. Was superb in his link up play throughout and scored the Reds fourth with a composed penalty take into the bottom corner.
Lazar Markovic: 5.5 – Was really poor in comparison to the rest of the young talent on show in the second half. Blasted a simple chance for redemption miles over the bar unmarked from 10 yards. Can we bin him yet?
Ryan Kent: 7.5 – Looked on it from the first whistle of the second half as he used his pace and trickery to great effect down Liverpool’s left hand side. Has a superb cross on him.
Dominic Solanke: 7 – Started as the sole striker in a 4-3-3 in the second half and impressed throughout. His left shooted shot was palmed into Chirivella’s path for the third goal and he was unlucky not to get on the score sheet when played through late on. A very encouraging first appearance.
Kamil Grabara: 6 – Had very little to do just like Karius. Will have been buzzing just to get on the field.