Jack Hallows gives his thoughts on Liverpool Football Club’s 1-1 draw with Wigan and rates the players’ performances in a lacklustre game.
First Half XI: 4-3-3 formation
Simon Mignolet: 6 – Made a couple of saves from long distance efforts and made one good save from an offside effort. Couldn’t really do anything about the goal as he was already wrong footed.
Trent Alexander-Arnold: 7 – Forced a solid save early on and impressed right from the word go. Looked assured and composed in possession and while it’s only early days of his second pre-season in first-team football, there looks to be a lot to come from the young fullback.
Joël Matip: 7 – Didn’t have huge amounts to do and looked as assured as ever whenever he was called into action.
Ragnar Klavan: 6 – Did his part and made one good sliding challenge to prevent a one-on-one opportunity for the Wigan forward.
Jon Flanagan: 5 – Very disappointing after such a solid performance against Tranmere. Offered very little going forward and struggled defensively.
Gini Wijnaldum: 5 – Really poor from the Dutchman who was playing in a much more reserved role. The Reds’ lack of a real holding midfielder was evident during the first half and playing in this role really limited his ability to influence the game. One beautiful pass through for Firmino was an impressive highlight, however.
Adam Lallana: 7 – Looked sharp on his return and his extra fitness session seemed to be paying off. Made one superb effort to connect with a cross by flinging himself into a diving header that was well saved.
Ben Woodburn: 6 – Looks really comfortable in the central midfield position and despite it limiting his overall attacking contributions, he still manages to influence games impressively for such a young footballer. One breathtaking turn made the entire stadium stand still.
Philippe Coutinho: 7.5 – A class above in the first half. The Brazilian had one superb effort from range just after Wigan’s opener and his pressing, passing and quick feet were key in the Reds’ best opportunities. Was key in the build up to the Reds goal.
Roberto Firmino: 5 – Struggled immensely during a first half full of poorly placed passes, uncontrolled touches and a miss that can only be described as unforgivable for a first choice no.9. Assisted Salah with an unselfish cutback.
Mohamed Salah: 8 – Scored the Reds equaliser when Firmino teed him up for one of the easiest goals he’ll ever score. Could’ve had two had he managed to finish a move that was single-handedly down to him in the first half and exhibited impressive pace and dribbling throughout.
Second Half XI: 4-3-3 Formation
Loris Karius: 6 – Almost spilled one into his own net in a nervy moment when struggling to deal with a set piece. Looked good as a pass back option and distribution was decent.
Joe Gomez: 6 – Looked confused in the right back position that he hasn’t played for at least 18 months. Was assured in possession, however, and looked solid when defending one on one.
Kevin Stewart: 6 – Thrown into the centre back role and didn’t do badly to be fair to him. Looked nervous at times but coped on the whole.
Dejan Lovren: 7 – Came painstakingly close to winning the game for the Reds when he sent a looping header onto the post and looked solid defensively, enjoying the extra slipperiness on the ground by throwing himself into sliding challenges for the cameras.
James Milner: 6 – Same old, same old from the Englishman who was solid without being spectacular. Didn’t offer huge amounts going forward until he forced a decent save late on.
Jordan Henderson: 6 – Kept possession ticking over when he could and ended up having to scrap a lot more than he’d have liked due to the deteriorating nature of the pitch.
Marko Grujić: 5.5 – A lacklustre performance given how good he was at Tranmere. Was too safe in possession for my liking.
Pedro Chirivella: 6 – Didn’t do much of note to influence the game but didn’t do anything particularly wrong either.
Dominic Solanke: 6 – Some good movement from the young Englishman but playing up front with two other strikers saw him starved of any real quality service.
Daniel Sturridge: 6 – Better movement than he displayed at Tranmere and had two good efforts that could’ve won the Reds the game with some added sharpness. Still looks the most likely to just make something happen out of thin air.
Divock Origi: 7 – Worked hard, pressed well and forced a solid save from Wigan’s keeper with one left-footed smack early in the second half. Looked sharp.