Jack Hallows gives his thoughts on how the Liverpool squad performed in their solid 2-1 victory over Leicester City on Saturday and rates their performance.
Liverpool took on Leicester City in the second of their ‘Premier League Asia Trophy’ pre-season fixtures in Hong Kong on Saturday.
How did the Liverpool players fare in their 2-1 victory?
First Half XI/Starting Line Up
Loris Karius: 7 – Had one dodgy moment of sweeper keeping in the first half after Jöel Matip sold him short with an awful back pass. Made a very good stop to deny Vardy early in the second half with his chest. Could do nothing about Slimani’s goal but I’m still not overly convinced by the German.
Trent Alexander-Arnold: 7 – Caught out by a Leicester double up down his flank for Slimani’s opener but recovered well afterwards and kept Albrighton as quiet as possible. Didn’t get forward as much as he did against Palace but still found the time to drill in a pair of dangerous looking low crosses.
Jöel Matip: 7 – One poor back-pass sold Karius awfully short early on and nearly saw the Reds go two down but other than that he was his usual classy and composed self.
Dejan Lovren: 7 – Gave away a cheap foul on Mahrez early on but was relatively untroubled for much of the remainder of the first half.
Kept it simple and looked to hold a high line with his defensive partner to prevent the striker from running in behind. Looked less assured next to Klavan in the second period and got away with not paying attention early in the half when he lost Vardy.
James Milner: 6.5 – Was well beaten by a good cross but one feels he could’ve done a little better for Leicester’s opener. Improved afterwards and recovered well, getting forward and providing an overload down the Reds’ left-hand side but was substituted just before half time with what looked to be a thigh injury.
Gini Wijnaldum: 7 – Was incredibly unlucky not to score just after the half hour mark when he was first to a loose ball in the box but his shot deflected off Matip and behind.
His strength and pace make him a real asset in the number 6 role and he once again impressed but I’d be surprised if it’s a long-term solution, given how much it inhibits his attacking play. Was moved further forward in the second half but looked tired.
Adam Lallana: 7 – Full of his usual skill and silkiness but struggled to get as involved as his midfield partner Coutinho. Looks to have already established a connection with Salah which could prove vital as the Premier League opening weekend approaches.
Philippe Coutinho: 9 – Sumptuous pass for Mo Salah’s opener that left me applauding in my hotel room. Spread the play incredibly and looks positively comfortable in the central midfield.
Of course, had to one up himself late in the half as he cut inside from the left and rocketed the Reds’ second past Schmeichel with his trademark move. What a player.
Roberto Firmino: 7.5 – Looked far more lively than I’ve seen in the other three of Liverpool’s pre-season fixtures so far. The Brazilian was full of smart turns, quick footed dribbling and some absolutely gorgeous touches. Linked up superbly with Coutinho and Salah throughout.
Divock Origi: 6 – Might as well have not been on the field. Was anonymous for practically the entire first half an hour aside from one or two instances of nice hold up play and didn’t get involved in the Reds’ attacking moves as much as he’d have probably liked.
Mohamed Salah: 7.5 – Brilliant pace and technical skills throughout and a fantastic header on the run to level the scores on the 20-minute mark. Looks a fantastic signing and real value for money in today’s market. Will be a huge boost for Liverpool’s squad this season.
Second Half XI/Substitutes:
Jon Flanagan (83′): N/A – Given a run out at the end.
Joe Gomez (55′): 7 – Played at right back with Dejan Lovren being given the chance to partner both Matip and Klavan. Is deceptively quick and looked capable and solid on the back foot.
Ragnar Klavan (45′): 7 – Fantastic last ditch tackle to deny Jamie Vardy a sure-fire goal after poor defending initially from Lovren and then Moreno. Continued his classic ‘solid one moment, all over the place the next’ style of defending for much of his 45 minutes but it was enough to keep Leicester out for the second half.
Alberto Moreno (41′): 6 – Found it much harder to keep Mahrez quiet than Milner had despite possessing far more pace than the Englishman. Was, as if often the case, slightly too eager to get forward but made a couple of good runs on the overlap.
No idea what his attempt to tackle Vardy was in the second half as he went flying past the camera!
Jordan Henderson (45′): 7 – Passing range was on full display once again as he continued his impressive work in the number 6 role. A quieter shift than against Palace but looked sharp and on form as he pinged passes to all corners and mopped up after his team mates in defence.
Ben Woodburn (55′): 6.5 – Started wide left and failed to really get himself involved before moving centrally once Solanke was introduced. Wasn’t his most exciting cameo it has to be said.
Marko Grujić (45′): 7 – Called into action within 5 minutes when he sent a superb, acrobatic half volley goal-wards only to see it fly narrowly over the cross bar. Kept it fairly simple for the rest of his 45 minutes.
Ryan Kent (65′): 6.5 – Failed to really get himself involved during most of his 25 minutes before bursting into life late on. One moment towards the end showcased what he can do as a step over, quick change of pace and whip of his right foot brought applause from his team mates.
Daniel Sturridge (45′): 7 – Looked sharp right from the word go and his technical skills were on show right from his first touch. If Klopp can keep him fit he looks capable of having a stellar season this time round. It’s incredible how natural fashioning shooting chances comes to him.
Dominic Solanke (65′): 7 – Fielded from the left of Liverpool’s attack and looked a bundle of energy, embracing Klopp’s required work-rate and pressing mantra. His movement is genuinely very impressive and with a bit more work from the coaching staff he could become a real handful.