All eyes were on Liverpool today as they visited West Ham. Could Liverpool rebound from their Crystal Palace draw and stay 5 points clear of Manchester City?
It was another troubling performance for the Reds as they tied 1-1, dropping points and only staying 3-clear of City.
Jurgen Klopp (4) – This was going to be a tough match, as West Ham have been strong this campaign. Unfortunately for Reds fans, Klopp didn’t have his squad prepared.
When Liverpool needed a spark in the second half, he subbed Adam Lallana, one of Liverpool’s few bright spots, instead of Naby Keita, who was awful.
Most notably, he hasn’t done enough to help his squad score on / defend set pieces. It’s abysmal. It cost them today.
Alisson (6) – Challenged early more than he’s used to, Alisson was sharp.
Nothing he could do on the equalizer, as Naby Keita simply lost his man.
A slip up in the final minute on an errant header almost cost his team the game.
James Milner (6) – Filling in again for Trent Alexander-Arnold, he registered an assist (although he was off-sides) on the Mane goal.
Virgil van Dijk (5) – Back-to-back poor showings for the first time this campaign. West Ham fired shot after shot and VVD couldn’t contain a fantastic Felipe Anderson all match.
Joel Matip (4) – Oh, he played? Copy+paste VVD comments, applies here too.
Andrew Robertson (8) – A constant threat as always, functioning like a second LW and getting to the end-line for crosses at will. Solid defending and work rate off-the-charts.
Adam Lallana (7.5) – A surprise start who caused a more surprising reaction from Liverpool faithful unhappy with his appearance. While Xherdan Shaqiri is one of the best signings of the season, he’s proven to be a more effective sparkplug off the bench than a starter. This opens the door
Lallana is clearly still getting back to his previous superior form from two years ago, and it shows often on the same play. In the 9th minute he made a nifty flick to create space and get a shot off, but he could’ve blown on the ball and generated more velocity than the shot he fired off.
He was active as always and was absolutely responsible for the Mane goal (even though Milner gets the assist).
Fabinho (5) – A pedestrian showing when Liverpool needed creativity and more aggressive attacking option given Keita’s no-show.
Naby Keita (2) –. It’s hard not to feel bad for Keita at this point. The star arrival this summer, he’s fallen behind Fabinho and Shaqiri in the pecking order by a fairly large margin. He was responsible for losing Michail Antonio on the equalizer, and he looks lost with no confidence. He had an opportunity to rip a shot in the 90th minute but didn’t even let it rip.
Perhaps it’s time to consider moving Trent Alexander-Arnold to midfield and giving Milner or Matip more run at right-back. Keita needs to be taken out of the starting XI.
Roberto Firmino (4) – Not a good day for Bobby. He was way off his recent form, missing his link-ups constantly.
Sadio Mane (8) – HEAVY TOUCH STILL AN ISSUE. Can’t somebody get him some TOCA lessons? However, his speed was a constant threat, as he seemed to be moving a step faster than even his normal blazing pace.
His opening goal was a solid finish. Great work rate in tracking back. Unfortunately, didn’t match his same effort in the second half.
Mohamed Salah (6) – The opposite of Mane. Started slow, but really picked it up in the second half. His footwork was fabulous and he looked like ’17-18 Salah. Still, his squad needed a goal from him and while getting shots on target he couldn’t convert tonight.
Xherdan Shaqiri (5) – Came on for Lallana at the 69th minute instead of for the way less effective Keita, Shaq was active but not effective. He was firing poorly weighted and errant passes around the pitch and didn’t provide the offensive punch Klopp had hoped.
Divock Origi (7) – Subbed for a struggling Firmino at the 75th minute, he was strong on ball and pushed it up the pitch well, but failed to capture his Everton magic missing a 1vs1 in the closing second (although he was also off-sides).