Jack Hallows rates the Liverpool players performance after their opening day victory over West Ham United at Anfield.
Liverpool FC 4 – 0 West Ham: 19′ Salah (Robertson), 45+2′ Mané (Milner), 53′ Mané (Firmino), Sturridge 88′ (No assist).
Premier League football is back, baby!
Our beloved Liverpool hosted Manuel Pellegrini’s West Ham United in Klopp’s first opening day fixture at Anfield since joining the Reds and the club’s first overall since beating Southampton 2-1 back in 2014.
Klopp’s previous two opening day Premier League fixtures had seen plenty of goals, with a 4-3 thriller at Arsenal that kickstarted 2016 with a bang followed up by a 3-3 action-packed draw with Watford last season.
Fair to say our Redmen made sure this season would be no different!
Alisson Becker: 7 – Looked a picture of composure every time a back pass was played towards him. Didn’t have much to do in terms of making saves but his distribution was fantastic when called upon – one lax pass aside. Clean sheet on debut was all we could ask for really!
Trent Alexander-Arnold: 7.5 – Looked a little rusty early on which is understandable given he’d only played twice in pre-season.
Looked a bundle of energy up and down the right flank however and while he overhit a number of his crosses, there was a fantastic free kick and some solid deliveries in amongst the rest. Is the firm first choice right back now.
Joe Gomez: 8 – Started next to ‘VVD’ at centre back and despite switching off at one stage during the first half to allow Arnautovic a snap shot at goal, the English defender looked strong, fast and most importantly capable. Was very impressed by his willingness to bring the ball out from the back.
Virgil van Dijk: 8 – There really aren’t many centre backs better than this guy in the Premier League are there? Such a classy figure who just oozes confidence in both his team mates and himself.
Andrew Robertson: 8 – His delivery from the left flank is genuinely incredible. A low cross served up Mo Salah’s first league goal of the season on a silver platter and the Scot was a constant thorn in West Ham’s side throughout.
Gini Wijnaldum: 8 – With neither Fabinho and Henderson at full fitness, Gini started in the ‘6’ and the Dutchman continued the trend of just looking better every time I see him play the role. Given the freedom to move further forward following Henderson’s introduction.
James Milner: 8.5 – Somebody remind Milner he’s in his thirties! The man never stops running and that assist! I’m 22 and I’d have struggled to keep that in, let alone find Mané for a tap in! I don’t know how he does it honestly.
Naby Keïta: 9 – I’ve been eagerly waiting for this man to join over the last 12 months and the Guinean wasn’t shy in showcasing exactly why.
His use of the ball was intelligent – not least in the build up to Salah’s opening goal – and the way he slalomed through the entire West Ham defence at one stage was sublime. Went wide left later in the game, showcasing his versatility.
Will be a huge player for us this season.
Sadio Mané (Man(é) of the Match): 9 – For the third year running, Liverpool’s new number 10 found the back of the net on the opening day for the Reds – the first player to do so since John Barnes in 1989/90, 1990/91 and 1991/92!
His first was a simple tap-in courtesy of some fantastic work by Milner, while his second was a smashing predatory finish. 13 in his last 17 games for the Senegalese international!
Roberto Firmino: 8 – Considering how little pre-season he’s had in comparison to some of those out there, the Brazilian’s fitness was genuinely impeccable.
Worked typically hard up front and even though he wasn’t as sharp as he can be on his best day, he still registered an assist for Liverpool’s third. Good day at the office for Bobby.
Mohamed Salah: 8 – Another game, another goal for Mo Salah. Wasn’t the Egyptian King’s best 90 minutes in a Liverpool shirt and he was doubled up on for much of the game.
Didn’t stop him getting his 45th Liverpool goal though, the first in a bid for a second consecutive golden boot perhaps?
Jordan Henderson 66′ (For Firmino): 6.5 – Brought on to get some more minutes in his legs and looked raring to go, attempting to lead the press at every opportunity. Good to see the skipper back and fit.
Xherdan Shaqiri 80′ (For Mané): 6 – Given a run out on the right hand side of the attack to allow Mané a rest and while he wasn’t on the pitch for long, he looked decent enough.
Daniel Sturridge 87′ (For Salah): 7 – Given a few minutes at the end to stretch his legs and to the amusement of his manager, ended up scoring with his first touch from a corner!