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How Liverpool’s players rated in their world class 4-0 win against Arsenal

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Liverpool

Liverpool would not have expected a game against Arsenal to have been quite so comfortable as it was, with the Reds blowing the Gunners away with an incredible display of attacking prowess.

Roberto Firmino opened the scoring with a deft header from a superb cross from Joe Gomez, starting in place of the rested Trent Alexander-Arnold. Sadio Mane added a second before half-time, finishing off a rapid counter attack in style with a pinpoint finish at the far post.

Liverpool really ran riot in the second half though, with Mohamed Salah pouncing with a superb solo goal before substitute Daniel Sturridge added a fourth for the Reds.

Here are how the Reds’ players rated in their victory…

Loris Karius – 6

Nervous on the ball, Karius often spent too long dwelling on the ball and was twice caught in possession by Danny Welbeck, who was clearly instructed to close the German down as quickly as possible. Rarely called into making a save.

Joe Gomez – 8

Made some great deliveries as he bombed down the flank but looked a little more vulnerable defensively. Was occasionally caught out by the pace that Arsenal possessed on the flanks, though he was solid when he came face to face with any Arsenal attacker.

Joel Matip – 7

Clearly the leader at the back, Matip looked to play the ball around and always offer an option to Loris Karius when he was on the ball. Dominant in the air and it looked as though nothing was getting past the German.

Dejan Lovren – 7

Assured and marshaled the Arsenal attack confidently. His booking was perhaps a little needless, but he did his job well and was even composed in possession and with his positioning.

Alberto Moreno – 8

One of his best displays in a Liverpool shirt. Caught out with one slip of concentration but gave his all to get back in possession and regain possession. A threat going forwards and uncharacteristically resilient defensively. Improving with every game.

Emre Can – 9

Could have won the midfield battle single handedly. Put a foot in where necessary but was a key part of Liverpool’s attacking game, breaking forward to create a threat from out wide. He did superbly well to almost set up Mohamed Salah early on in a move which set the tempo for the rest of the game.

Jordan Henderson – 8

Pressed high with a huge impact, with one occasion gifting him a golden opportunity to score and he really should have done better with his finish. He worked tirelessly and produced his best performance of the season to date, clearing up at the base of midfield.

Georgino Wijnaldum – 9

Beautiful footwork in the middle of the park left both Aaron Ramsey and Granit Xhaka dazed in a heap. He was a creative force spraying balls all over the pitch from deep and was happy enough to drop back deep to support the defence when others roamed forwards.

Mohamed Salah – 9

His pace and energy was simply too much for Arsenal to handle. Salah ran riot and found himself in a goalscoring position time and time again. Eventually, he put one away, producing a chance for himself as he pressed Hector Bellerin as the ball emerged from a corner and calmly placed the ball past Petr Cech after a 60 yard run. Beautifully set up Daniel Sturridge.

Roberto Firmino – 9

At the heart of everything Liverpool did going forwards. Arsenal didn’t know what to do when the Brazilian dropped deep or drifted wide, and he took his headed goal very well. Set up Sadio Mane to score the second and was involved in the build up to the fourth. The mastermind in Liverpool’s attack.

Sadio Mane – 9

Took his goal superbly to finish a brilliant counter attacking move, cutting inside and firing an unstoppable shot past Petr Cech. He nearly had another in similar circumstances too, and his pace burnt up the Arsenal defence.

Subs
Daniel Sturridge (for Mane, 74) – 8

Took his opportunity to get on the scoresheet. Mohamed Salah provided a fine cross but Sturridge’s intelligent run had to be finished off by a composed header.

James Milner (for Firmino, 80) – 7

Saw the game out and didn’t allow the Reds midfield to get carried away in the closing stages.

Marko Grujic (for Can, 83) – N/A

Great for the youngster to get some minutes under his belt.

Sam is a football journalist focusing on English football at all levels and Spanish football. He also writes for Spain's biggest daily sports newspaper, MARCA, as well as The Boot Room. Find Sam on Twitter at @samleveridge.

English Premier League

Rhian Brewster deserves shot at Liverpool first-team next season

The Liverpool teenager deserves a shot ahead of Daniel Sturridge and Divock Origi.

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Liverpool fans were rightly excited about England under-17s World Cup win in India last summer. Firstly, it was great to see the English national team doing well at some level. Secondly, one of their own players, Rhian Brewster, was on fire.

The teenage striker won the Golden Boot prize at the competition after scoring eight goals for his nation, including hat-tricks against both the USA and Brazil.

His performances rightly had Liverpool fans excited for the season ahead, but it came too soon for the youngster. Brewster then suffered an ankle injury in January that needed surgery.

(Photo credit should read DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP/Getty Images)

However, despite his setback, it was reported last month by The Telegraph that Brewster will be promoted to the Liverpool first-team next season after his recovery period is over.

Rightly so. Liverpool should be ready to give the teenager his chance in the first-team at Anfield, as he has all the talent available to him to become a club goalscoring sensation.

In fact, if Liverpool want to be serious about him, they should ensure there are no blockages in his pathway.

The likes of Daniel Sturridge, currently on loan at West Brom, and Divock Origi, also on loan but at German side Wolfsburg, should no longer be considered ahead of Brewster in the pecking order.

Getting rid of the injury-prone Sturridge and Origi, who has struggled in the Bundesliga, will leave Brewster firmly in the mix for the striking position at Liverpool.

(Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Roberto Firmino obviously remains the first choice. But Liverpool also have England’s under-20 goalscoring sensation from the summer in Dominic Solanke. With the hard-working Danny Ings also present, Brewster fits in nicely to the Liverpool striking fold.

Some might say he is too young. But people said that about Michael Owen and Robbie Fowler. The fact is, nobody will know until he is thrown into that position.

Liverpool fans are some of the more supportive and understanding in the country when it comes to young talent, and would have all the patience in the world for the young striker.

It is time to cut the deadwood and make room for the future to blossom.

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Bolton Wanderers

Trent Alexander-Arnold World Cup push is deja-vu for Jon Flanagan and Liverpool

The Liverpool defender has had his problems on and off the pitch but is performing well at Bolton Wanderers.

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Liverpool right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold has emerged as a late challenger for the England World Cup squad this summer. The teenage defender has been in incredible form for Liverpool in 2018.

His performances against Manchester City in both legs of the recent Champions League win earned mass praise and plenty of Liverpool fans are of the belief that Alexander-Arnold should be in the England squad.

It seems a bit like deja-vu from four years ago. Back then, England were again preparing for a World Cup – this time in Brazil. Once again, Liverpool were in fine form toward the end of that season and narrowly missed out on the Premier League title to Manchester City.

One of the main reasons for their excellent season was the form of young full-back Jon Flanagan. The then 21-year-old defender came in and solved Brendan Rodgers’ left-back problem with aplomb.

He featured in 25 games that season and pushed his way, much like Alexander-Arnold, into England contention.

(Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images)

In the summer, he was named on the England standby list for the World cup and made his debut in a warm-up game against Ecuador. This should have been the start of something brilliant for the young man.

But the four years since have been a disappointment for the Liverpool man.

That summer a build-up of fluid on his knee led to investigations which in turn led to corrective surgery. Flanagan went on to spend what should have been his crowning years on the treatment table. After spending 18 months on the sidelines he eventually returned, but to a new Liverpool.

Under Jurgen Klopp, first-team football was hard to find. He headed to Burnley on loan last season but found himself not able to break into the first-team at Turf Moor either.

Since that near World Cup miss, football has continuously kicked Flanagan while he has been down and he has also had well-documented problems off the pitch as well.

But there is now a glimmer of hope. In January the defender headed to Bolton Wanderers on loan, to try and help the Trotters fight off relegation to League One and put his recent problems behind him.

Now established as a first-team regular he is getting back to fine form.

Whilst it may come too late to salvage his Liverpool career, there does appear to be a future for Flanagan in the game.

A lot of bad luck has hit the defender so far, whilst his off-field issues have also not helped matters. But, hopefully, he can turn things around and build a career Liverpool fans thought he might back in 2014.

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Liverpool

Liverpool identify Sevilla defender Clement Lenglet as Virgil Van Dijk’s perfect partner

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Photo: Getty Images.

After signing Virgil Van Dijk in January to begin a rebuilding project in defence, Liverpool could now look to Seville for the next addition and a long-term partner for the Dutchman, with that man being Clement Lenglet.

According to Spanish newspaper SPORT, Liverpool have entered the race to sign the Frenchman alongside Barcelona as interest in the youngster hots up.

The reports indicate that the defender has a release clause set as low as €30 million (£26.1 million) and as such would be a bargain addition in the summer, particularly given the price tag that other players of a similar quality would demand.

(Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images)

In his first full season in Spain, Lenglet has established a reputation as one of La Liga’s finest defenders, immediately becoming one of the first names on the Sevilla team-sheet under the management of both Eduardo Berizzo and Vincenzo Montella.

At 22-years-old, Lenglet has huge potential and already has four seasons of experience at first team level in France with Nancy and now in the south of Spain.

Good on the ball and strong in the tackle, he is exactly the mould of defender that Jurgen Klopp has looked for previously by signing the likes of Van Dijk and Joel Matip.

Whether a deal is realistic may be another matter given Barcelona’s interest, but it would certainly be one worth pursuing for Liverpool if they do have hopes of mounting a title challenge in the Premier League next season.

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