Liverpool continued their unbeaten start to the season with a 1-0 home victory over Brighton – As always, Jack Hallows was on hand to rate the players!
Liverpool’s unbeaten start to the season continues!
1-0 absolutely flattered Brighton in my honest opinion with Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mané in particular very unlucky not to get on the scoresheet.
The Reds weren’t completely on their game throughout and while Mat Ryan in goal had a decent afternoon, the forwards in particular could’ve done a lot better with their finishing throughout.
It was of course – as it so often is – Mohamed Salah who was the difference between the two sides in the end, the Egyptian’s beautifully placed finish giving the Reds the lead in the 23rd minute. A lead they would not surrender.
Three wins in three, three clean sheets in three and seven goals scored.
A brilliant start for Liverpool in every respect!
How did the players fare individually on the day though?
Alisson Becker: 8 – A slightly busier afternoon than this first outing at Anfield and once again, the Brazilian did everything that was asked of him.
Made one awesome save late on to deny Brighton playmaker Pascal Groß when the German found space to send a bullet header at goal and produced an outrageous moment when he flicked the ball over Anthony Knockhaert’s head.
A very confidence-inspiring start from the Brazilian.
Trent Alexander-Arnold: 7 – A far brighter performance from the young right back than he showed on Monday against Crystal Palace.
Was relaxed but composed defensively and was so unlucky not to score in the final ten minutes of the game when he dragged a left footed shot just wide of the near post, while a first half free kick rattled the cross bar.
Joe Gomez: 8 – Wow. What a start this young lad is having to the season! The 21-year old was probably Liverpool’s best defender across the 90 minutes and his concentration levels in particular were superb.
Made a couple of impressive recoveries and his challenges were rough but fair.
Virgil van Dijk: 6.5 – Not the Dutchman’s best afternoon in a Liverpool shirt.
Had a couple of moments that on another day, he probably deals with 10x better but for whatever reason, it just didn’t happen for him against Chris Hutton’s side. Wasn’t exactly terrible but was simply a little too relaxed at times.
Andrew Robertson: 7 – Watching Robertson’s on field movement out on the Reds’ left flank is almost like a tennis match. He’s up, then he’s down, he’s up, then he’s down – it’s honestly remarkable.
His end product today was far better than on Monday night at Crystal Palace too with one perfect cross in particular finding Firmino’s head and the Brazilian was unlucky not to be wheeling away in celebration. Another solid outing for the Scot!
Gini Wijnaldum: 7 – Three brilliant showings out of three for Wijnaldum.
The Dutchman started the season as one of the midfielders most in danger of losing his starting spot but now, as we close in on the first international break of the campaign, he’s probably one of the first names on the team-sheet!
The former Newcastle man has undergone a real revolution over the summer and his ability to not only play but thrive in the shielding no.6 role is another string to his impressive bow.
James Milner: 7.5 – Another 90 minutes of grit, hard work and ensuring that he covers every blade of grass – James Milner is simply a phenomenon.
The 32-year old (yes, you read that right, he’s 32!) was impressive in the middle of the park yet again, winning the initial challenge that led to Mohamed Salah’s goal and pressing the Brighton defence at every opportunity. Managers often speak of desire and character being just as important as ability for footballer and Milner possesses both in abundance.
Naby Keïta: 7 – The Guinean was far from poor against Brighton but he’ll certainly have better days in a Liverpool shirt. His equal ability to glide forward in possession before tracking back and making clean, impressive tackles when the Reds lose the ball was on full show but he still looks a little way off being fully fit. Faded before he was replaced.
Mohamed Salah: 7 – It’s testament to the Egyptian’s quality – especially in front of goal – that he’s not looked anywhere near fully fit and firing, yet has two goals and an assist in his opening three games of the season.
Was once again up and down against Brighton as he continues to settle into his rhythm but his finish for the goal was sublime. Where we’ve previously seen him take “the touch” before slotting the ball home, the former Roma man simply placed a first-time, side footed pass into the far corner, clipping the post on the way in. Lovely.
Sadio Mané: 6 – I’ve seen Mané given an array of rating online so far following this match ranging from a 5 which I feel is harsh, to a 7. For me, he was slap bang in the middle.
The Senegalese endured a rare off day in terms of his finishing, sending a left footed effort just wide early on before failing to connect properly with a header late in the first half. Had a hand in the first goal however, palming the ball of Firmino who slipped it in to Salah’s path.
Given how Mané has started the season, he’s probably got enough credit in the bank to be allowed a slightly low key performance.
Roberto Firmino: 6.5 – Should have scored when Robertson sent in a peach of a cross and he got his head on it, only to see that he’d placed the header too close to goalkeeper Mat Ryan. Registered his second assist for the season when he slipped Salah through on goal but it’s very much clear that he’s still trying to find his groove.
Jordan Henderson (Keïta 66′): 7 – I wouldn’t be surprised to see Henderson restored to Liverpool’s starting line up against Leicester or, even after the international break. The Englishman has looked bright in each of his cameos so far and today was no exception.
Daniel Sturridge (Mané 79′): N/A – Held the ball up well when he came on and gave Brighton something fresh to think about.
Joël Matip (TAA 89′): N/A – Confirmation he’s back fit.