How did Liverpool's players rate in their 2-1 win over West Brom?
Liverpool’s positive start to the season continued after a dominant performance against West Brom, which resulted in a 2-1 victory. Gareth McAuley’s goal denied the Reds the chance to go to the top of the table on goal difference, but the performance deserved a much greater disparity in the scoreline.
Although the Reds eased up in the second half, perhaps unwisely, their first half performance was excellent as they ripped West Brom’s two banks of defenders to shreds.
So how did Liverpool’s players rate in the win?
Loris Karius – 5
Didn’t have anything to do until the end of the game, where he flapped at a corner, although he couldn’t do anything about McAuley’s close range finish. His passes from the back were hit with varying success, but it seems that if he irons out the issues he will be an upgrade on Simon Mignolet.
Nathaniel Clyne – 8
Occasionally let himself down with his final ball, but Clyne’s work going forward and backwards was generally very good. He led the team for regaining the ball in the first half and didn’t let his winger get past him all game. Another very good performance from Liverpool’s most consistent defender.
Dejan Lovren – 8
Lovren has grown into a really good defender under Jurgen Klopp, and he showed his new maturity with a very solid display. He was always an available option for those in possession and was not really bothered by Salomon Rondon all game. Would have been on the score sheet with a header but for a brilliant save from Foster.
Joel Matip – 7
Like Lovren, Matip had a really solid game and was always an option for those in possession. The gangly centre back came forward on a number of occasions as well, adding to the attack. Was slightly static in defence for West Brom’s goal, but stood up well to the late pressure.
James Milner – 7
Milner has settled in well at left-back, and gave another solid performance today. He spread the play well with some very good balls, including a raking 70 yard ball along the floor that helped set Coutinho free in the second half. Showed himself to be a crucial cog in the machine once again.
Jordan Henderson – 8
Looking increasingly comfortable in his deep midfield role, Henderson had another brilliant game in the middle of the park for the Reds. He was always an available option and stuck to his role with consummate ease. Not everything he tried came off, but he was at the base of most good things his team did.
Emre Can – 8
Given a bit more freedom than he is usually afforded thanks to the new, improved, pragmatic Henderson, Can was able to show his full range of attacking talent. Can was a powerful runner, and also showed his neat skills, dragging Liverpool forward on several occasions. A good performance.
Adam Lallana – 7
Had a quiet game by his high standards for 2016, but Lallana’s 100th Liverpool performance was still very, very good. Although not directly involved in any goals, his quick feet and brain made it very difficult for West Brom to deal with his team. The overall team performance was reflective of how important he now is to the side.
Sadio Mane – 9
Mane has been a revelation since signing from Southampton in the summer, and he once again showed his worth to the team. His goal was an excellent finish, laden with beautiful technique, and his assist for Coutinho’s goal came from a mixture of hard work and a tidy pass. Another great display from the Senegalese.
Philippe Coutinho – 9
He had a lot of shots blocked, but that can really be the only criticism of the little Brazilian’s performance. His dummy in the build up for the first goal was sublime, but he topped it with the skill for his goal. When set away by Mane, Coutinho cut back inside so sharply that he left two defenders sliding away into the distance. His finish wasn’t bad either.
Roberto Firmino – 9
Although he didn’t get on the scoresheet, Firmino was probably Liverpool’s best performer against the Baggies. He assisted Mane with a beautifully weighted cross, and his movement and interplay got Liverpool in behind on several occasions. He also showed his hard work by tracking back all the way into his own box when West Brom broke in the first half.
Georginio Wijnaldum (for Lallana 79′) – N/A
Good to see him back on the pitch after injury, but had no time to impact the game. Had to bed into the defence slightly more as West Brom came back.
Lucas (for Coutinho 88′) – N/A
Brought on to secure the game.
Divock Origi (for Mane 91′) – N/A
No time to make an impact.
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