Player Ratings as Liverpool demolish Arsenal in Anfield
In a one-sided night of football, Liverpool annihilated Arsenal 4-0 at Anfield to keep pace atop the Premier League.
The Reds were dominant from the first minute to the last as the Gunners’ brave resistence (and their 8-match unbeaten run) crumbled in the face of Liverpool’s relentless press. Arsenal actually handled themselves well in the first 30 minutes or so but a touchline altercation between Jurgen Klopp and an agitated Mikel Arteta really drove the crowd and the players forward and Liverpool kicked on and never looked back.
Here’s how the players rated at Anfield:
Alisson – 8 (out of 10)
Saved a very routine shot and beyond that didn’t have anything to do except pass out in the first half.
After the break, it was hardly an onslaught he faced either, but his two saves were excellent: an outstretched boot to stop Aubameyang’s effort across goal and a flying tip over the bar.
Trent Alexander-Arnold – 9
Blunderbuss shot tipped over, great low cross almost gave Jota a tap-in and a wicked free-kick delivery assisted Mane – a very standard Trent first half, in other words.
Second half was largely more of the same, but better: another excellent assist near the end, loads of good moments backing up the press, several chances made with quick passes and switches.
Joel Matip – 8
The sight of our Cameroonian centre-back taking on opposition strikers will never not be magic.
Didn’t have huge amounts to do given Arsenal attacked about eight times all game, but his passing out was good, he defended a couple of free-kicks well and he had a beaming Joel Matip Special Smile more than once, which is good for an extra point.
Virgil van Dijk – 8
Fairly strong and dominant against the direct balls forward, with one or two recoveries when called upon – notably right after the restart with Aubameyang running through.
A bit of a stroll for the Dutch captain.
Kostas Tsimikas – 8
His crosses are just wicked. With every passing performance which impresses in both halves of the pitch, there’s more emphasis on an upcoming question about which left-back deserves to start on a weekly basis.
Could have been in for a goal himself once or twice if his runs had been spotted.
Fabinho – 9
Two fantastic first-half interventions from a defensive perspective including a must-win tackle when Arsenal countered two-on-one.
Was exceptional all game long, not just winning the ball but with really positive distribution, blocking their runs forward and making sure the entire midfield line was in proper position.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – 9 – Man of the Match
Bit of a debate in TIA Towers as to whether Fab or Ox got the nod for the award, but the No. 15 was excellent and just edges it.
A really good first half where he was busy harassing opposition players, made a great block inside his own six-yard box and was driving forward in possession whenever possible.
Pressed the life out of Arsenal‘s back line, creating a number of chances as a result, and side-footed a shot of his own just past the post after the restart.
Amazing what game time and confidence can do for a player.
Thiago – 8 –
Ran the show at Anfield. Kept the ball rotating, the tempo high and Arsenal on the back-foot. No one in pale yellow could touch him.
Mohamed Salah – 8 –
Gabriel did well to help nullify him, but nothing could truly stop Salah. The Egyptian never stopped moving and acting as a reference in the final third for his side. In the end he was rewarded with his goal, finishing simply.
Sadio Mané – 8 –
Nowhere near his best and lucky to stay on the pitch after a selection of tasty tackles in the first-half. Still, opened the scoring with a lovely header, as he so often does. And later set-up Salah with a nice cross.
Diogo Jota – 8 –
A never-ending source of pressing energy in the middle. Doubled Liverpool’s lead with an outrageously composed bit of dribbling in the Arsenal box. Then enabled the third goal with a lovely flicked header to allow Mané to set-up Salah.
Takumi Minamino (for Jota 76′) – 7 –Scored with his first touch 48 seconds after coming on.
Jordan Henderson (for Oxlade-Chamberlain 76′) – 7 – Played a lovely forward pass in the build-up to Liverpool’s fourth goal.
Tyler Morton (for Thiago 84′) – n/a – Came on late.
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