Jack Hallows was overjoyed to see Liverpool’s superb record at the Olympic Stadium continue but who was Man of the Match and who got a 5?
Simon Mignolet: 5 – Was given the armband in the slightly surprising total absence of Jordan Henderson and while he only conceded the one, it was hardly a performance of solidity and stature. The Belgian was fortunate not to see Ayew’s early effort nestle in the near post and he looked slow and ponderous coming off his line more than once. Also got himself in a bizarre tussle with Ayew in the first half that could’ve gone far worse than it did.
Joe Gomez: 6.5 – Loses half a mark for his ‘mistake’ in Lanzini’s goal where he made the bizarre decision to duck under the cross – one can only assume he lost his balance. Aside from that however it was another solid evening from Gomez and while Arnautovic and Carroll gave him issues later on, he never stopped giving 100%.
Joel Matip: 7 – Got his first goal since his header at Crystal Palace last season and after a nervy start looked to grow into the game. Looked far more assured on the ball than he has done in recent weeks, playing some good long balls forward and looking to be as positive as possible.
Ragnar Klavan: 6.5 – Gets half a mark less than his partner but only because Matip got on on the scoresheet. Passing was positive and while he kept it simple, he didn’t make a mistake and sometimes that’s just the best way to go about things.
Alberto Moreno: 7 – Once again a picture of solidity and effort down the left hand side. The Spaniard once again looked to pick his moments to get forward intelligently and made some solid tackles to keep the Reds’ left side quiet. Another very good performance.
Emre Can: 7 – Was given the midfield destroyer role alongside Wijnaldum in a deeper-lying double pivot combination and did it superbly. Kept Carroll quiet when the Englishman was introduced and led both by example when throwing himself about and by making himself a vocal and commanding presence in the middle of the park. Looks at his best when given this job to perform.
Gini Wijnaldum: 6.5 – Was smart in possession and while Can looked to clatter and scrap his way through the West Ham physicality, Wijnaldum looked to simply annoy and frustrate. The Dutchman made four interceptions and broke play up well in a more reserved role than he’d be used to.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain: 8 – A first Premier League start, a first Premier League goal for Liverpool Football Club. The Englishman was direct, positive and injected even more pace into an already lightning front four to cause havoc on the counter-attack. Looks to have adapted well to what Klopp wants from him and positively, it looks as if he can only get better.
Sadio Mané: 8 – Returned from injury two weeks early to put in a superb 77 minute shift that featured two assists, tireless running and no lack of attacking threat. Seems to have formed a devastating understanding and partnership with Salah.
Roberto Firmino: 8 – If the Brazilian had put his one on one chance away in the second half he’d have won man of the match for me. Firmino was everywhere, winning six tackles, laying on the final pass for Chamberlain’s goal and harassing the West Ham defence constantly. With Salah playing up top alongside him, the Reds’ number 9 was able to drop deep to pick up possession and press the back line without leaving his side without an outlet up top. Superb footballer.
Mohamed Salah (Man of the Match): 9 – Another game, another two goals for our electric Egyptian. The winger now has 12 goals in 17 games for the Reds this season already and this 90 minutes was nothing less than we can expect from him when he’s on form. The cries of “he couldn’t finish his dinner” will likely have been silenced after that second goal.
James Milner (77′): 7 – Brought on to help the Reds’ game management towards the end and could’ve had a goal himself late on.
Dominic Solanke (87′): N/A – Had a whack from range: why not?
Dejan Lovren (87′): N/A – The Player of the Month for October got a run out for 3 minutes.
Kloppo: 9 – Made a tactical decision to change to a staggered 4-4-2/4-2-2-2 style formation that allowed the Reds’ to sit deep and use their pace to hurt West Ham on the counter-attack. I mean hey, we scored four goals and got three points… pretty hard to fault that!