The Reds are back for domestic league action at Anfield today against Leicester.
There’s a lot to be buzzing about. Luis Diaz debuted in the FA Cup over the weekend and registered an assist. Harvey Elliott returned from his gruesome ankle injury and tallied a goal. Mo Salah and Sadio Mane are back from a grueling AFCON tournament.
The aforementioned Diaz gets his first start today. Mo Salah is in the squad but on the bench. This is one of Jurgen Klopp’s more unique starting XI’s for a Premier League match that I can remember.
Liverpool assert themselves more and more as the first half went on. A Diogo Jota “right place, right time” goal gives them a 1-0 halftime lead.
Liverpool dominated the second half. Mo Salah came on and bossed. They got a well-deserved second goal from Jota and claim a 2-0 win.
As for Diaz? He fit in and integrated immediately. A plug and play starter on Day 1. A very promising first showing.
Liverpool Player Ratings vs Leicester
Jurgen Klopp (8) –
Be really interesting to see how Klopp’s midfield and front-line work together today. Liked all of the subs (and timing of the subs). Had the lads ready to go.
Alisson (8) –
Big deflection in the 7th minute on Maddison. Strong hand punches out a corner in the 24th.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (7) –
Don’t like his new hairdo. Needs to settle on one look. Great touch and weak-side shot in the 19th was well-saved by Kasper.
Virgil van Dijk (8) –
Smart, hard bump from VVD in the 9th minute to stymie a dangerous moment from Leicester. This is an old-school van Dijk night. No casual nonsense. Always in right spot. Some smart deflections. Well done.
Joel Matip (8.5) –
A really superb night. Had most possession (close to 11%). Some of his patented dribbles in. And a nifty flick pass that set Jota up for his second goal.
Andy Robertson (8) –
Classic Robbo dispossession and darting run in the 11th. Looks well-rested. Great interception in the 56th minute, darting run into the box, and cross that almost leads to goal #2.
Curtis Jones (6) –
Getting more and more first team run. Nifty footwork and technical ability shining. Quiet second half and comes off in the 59th.
Fabinho (7) –
One of those box-score filler nights. Won 4 tackles. A couple aerials. Sprung many-a-counter.
Thiago (6) –
Expect a good match from him today. Ambitious bicycle kick towards end of first match that just misses. Not bad by any stretch, but we’ve seen better.
Luis Diaz (7.5) –
Damn. Almost bags one in the first 10 seconds. Dude is fast. Seems immediately integrated with the squad. Good sign. Smart interception in the 67th and pass into the box to Jota. Smashes one in the 79th that Schmeichel makes another good save on. Almost smashes another one in but fucking Schmeichel won’t allow it.
Subbed off late for Taki, mostly so Klopp can let him get a standing O.
Roberto Firmino (6) –
Needs more weight on his passes. Off the mark. Strong on ball as always but not effective today. Off for Mo in the 59th.
Diogo Jota (8.5) –
Gets Salah’s starting spot today. Unfamiliar role out wide like that. Quiet all match…until he’s not! Puts a rebound in the back of the net to put Liverpool up 1-0. A little wasteful in the second half. Suffering from “One Too Many Touches” disease.
Mo Salah (8) – Comes on the 59th for Bobby. Crazy stupid footwork and turning that just misses. Miss seeing that. Welcome back. Misses a huge 1vs1 a few minutes later. Almost hits a Chelsea/Palace curler a few minutes after that, but it hits the woodwork.
Harvey Elliott (7) – Comes on the 59th for Jones. Great link-up play with Salah. Looks strong.
Takumi Minamino () – On late for Diaz.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Really could’ve given it to Schmeichel. A lesser goalie and it’s 5-0 tonight. But Jota’s brace earns him MotM.