Liverpool hasn’t lost since September. That changed last week. Amid a mix of physicality and soft-ass gesticulating that hasn’t been seen in Europe for some time, the Reds fell to Atletico Madrid 1-0.
Now, they travel back to Anfield to play a West Ham team that is like a bizarro version of Atleti when it comes to conceding goals. Expect Liverpool to roll.
Liverpool starts strong and goes up 1-0 after 8 minutes. However, more sloppiness and casualness leads to an equalizer just three minutes later. Liverpool dominate possession (73%) and shots (11/2 to 2/1) but it’s level after 45 minutes.
West Ham went up 2-1 in the 54th minute and had Liverpool reeling. But as they always do, the Reds poured it on with goals from Mo Salah and Sadio Mane to prevail 3-2.
Liverpool dominated the match from a statistical perspective: 70% possession and 25 SoGs (7 on target) to 7 / 4 from West Ham.
And with that, Liverpool are just 12 points from the title.
Here are Liverpool vs West Ham player ratings.
Liverpool Player Ratings
Jurgen Klopp (6) –
At what point do we start questioning Klopp’s approach during the winter break? Maybe he should’ve had them play the FA Cup to keep the momentum going? It’s fair to ask.
However, his gtfo’ing of Keita changed the match totally. Ox was immediately better and he guided the lads to another 3 points.
Alisson (7) –
Caught by surprise on the equalizing 1-1 header. Not necessarily poorly kept, the header was legit, but a locked in Ali gets a glove on it. First goal at Anfield in 687 minutes. Makes a number of big saves, especially in the 88th to save the game.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (10) –
The best right-back in the world. TAA makes another heads-up play that leads to a goal. He ran down a ball that most would’ve given up on at the endline and launches a laser perfect cross to find Gini’s head on the opener. Servicing in general is on point. Darting run in 31st and solid strike almost leads to goal. Free-kick in the 39th almost sneaks inside the post. He’s done so well in first half almost nothing can change him getting MotM honors.
His blast from about 40 yards out in the 61st minute was just disgusting–saved well by Fabianski.
Gets the assist on another heads-up play to put Liverpool ahead.
He was the best player on the pitch today and looks like the best defender in the world.
Virgil van Dijk (6) –
Gets big noggin on TAA corner in the 39th that’s only denied by a strong Fabianski save. Isn’t sharp defensively though as normal. Leads team in possession though and does well distributing.
Joe Gomez (5) –
It’s official. Joe Gomez is the preferred CB again. Joel Matip is back and fit but Gomez keeps getting the call. Could’ve done been defending the equalizing header in the 13th minute. Kind of getting ass handed to him. Poor defending in 24th almost leads to another goal. Needs to come off. Second goal kind of on him too. Better going forward.
Andy Robertson (7) –
On his front foot early. Constantly booming up the flank and sending balls in. Switches field smartly. Great showing.
Naby Keita (3) –
With Jordan Henderson out, Keita gets the call. Supposedly Keita is a machine in training. That has rarely translated into games. Fingers crossed for him and the squad that he gets over the hump. We need a creative / offensive force in midfield.
Total waste. Made no impact. Did nothing other than 5 tackles. Comes off in 57th for Ox.
Gini Wijnaldum (6) –
Alert to deliver a first-class header of TAA’s cross on the opener. Good link up play. Endless work rate.
Fabinho (7) –
Despite his flub leading to Atleti’s goal, Fabinho is increasingly looking like his old self. Wins 4 aerials, 3 tackles, does well in distribution.
Mohamed Salah (8) –
Would be really, really nice to see him finish some shots, net a hat-trick, and get some confidence. His play has been fine. His finishing has not.
Lively. Great touch and blast from outside the box that almost finds net in the 16th. Gets a well-deserved equalizer in the 68th. Lucky to meg Fabianski but Liverpool earned that one too.
Sadio Mane (7) –
Heads up play almost capitalizes on an uncharacteristic Fabianski error in the 6th. Clever meggers in 25th almost leads to a goal of the year. Alert to slot home the winner in the 81st. Off in stoppage for Matip.
Roberto Firmino (7) –
Off the chart work-rate earns him some “Si senior” from the Anfield faithful. Dropped back to help defense a lot but still managed to get forward on counters with the top line. Good showing.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (7) – On for Keita and makes more of an impact in 1 minute than Keita did in 56. Game legit changed when he came on.
Joel Matip (NR) – On in stoppage time for Mane to see the game off. Gives dangerous foul away almost immediately.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Trent Alexander-Arnold all day every day. What a display.