Sure, Liverpool looked like their old selves a few days ago against Tottenham. Playing Jose Mourinho and the Spurs tends to bring out the best in Jurgen Klopp’s men. The bigger question is, can they continue building on that performance and get back into the Premier League title race?
The Reds have fallen so far this season that, at the halfway point, they find themselves in a battle for the final Champions League spot against West Ham today.
Liverpool dominated possession (70%) in first half but have only one shot on target to show for it. 0-0 after 45.
Second half though is all Reds. Mo Salah nets a brace. Gini Wijnaldum earns a well-deserved goal. Liverpool look like themselves again. A 3-0 win puts the Reds back in third place in the table.
Anyway, here are Liverpool player ratings vs West Ham on January 31, 2021.
Liverpool Starting XI vs West Ham
Liverpool Player Ratings vs West Ham
Jurgen Klopp (9) –
Will withhold judgement of his starting XI until the game gets underway. But playing 35 year-old Milner this much and sitting Bobby Firmino feels like a recipe for the underwhelming.
Shifts to a 4-3-2-1 formation with Shaq in the #10 slot. It’s creating a lot of possession but not a lot of quality opportunities. Would be wise to sub Divock out for Bobby at the half or soon thereafter.
While the first half was uninspired, he got the lads going in the second. All the subs made with the right people at the right times.
Alisson (6) –
Not much to do today. Not much he could do on the goal either.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (6) –
Can he follow up his best match of the campaign with another stellar showing? Early on, the answer is yes. Very much driving forward. Ultimately not much to show, though he was important in build up on two goals.
Nat Phillips (7) –
A little robotic in his movements but damn he wins every aerial. Best of the defenders overall today. Intercepting, aware, and wins everything in the air.
Jordan Henderson (6.5) –
Much rather have Hendo in midfield, but his long passes in the back are a real asset. Vocal and bossing as usual. VVD-esque on the long bombs. Finds Salah’s head in the second half. Did what needed to be done today.
Andy Robertson (6) –
Good overlaps and switches early. Corners not finding their mark though. Effort without results today.
Thiago (7.5) –
So creative and unique, hoping the frontline in particular starts clicking with him. It’s almost like they don’t know what to do with his delivery and link up. Creates a big chance for Big Div towards end of first half.
Starts second half strong by finding and almost unleashing Trent. Defensive work solid too, last man tackle to thwart a West Ham attack.
Gini Wijnaldum (8) –
Really exerting himself early. He’s everywhere. Get a goal to put Liverpool up 3-0 with a heady finish.
James Milner (6) –
Covering lots of ground. Worked ass off. Subbed off in the 57th.
Mo Salah (9) –
Continues to grow into the game. Generates more and more chances. Earns a goal with clinical finish to put Liverpool up 1-0. Gets a brace with a gorgeous cheeky finish off a wonderful ball from Shaq. Vintage Mo performance.
Divock Origi (5) –
Just. Not. Good. Jogging. Come on, Div.
Better start to second half. Blasts one that almost finds the upper 90. Still, not good enough. Comes off with a knock for Ox.
Xherdan Shaqiri (8) –
Would like to see a big showing from Big Shaq today. Love the effort. Work rate great, sacrificing himself defensively. Good to see. Gorgeous ball into Mo earns an assist and puts Liverpool up 2-0. Comes off for Firmino right after that.
Curtis Jones (7) – Comes on for Milly. Immediate impact the second he hits the pitch. Assists on Salah’s opener.
Roberto Firmino (7) – On for Shaq and slotted as the 10. Good decision-making on earning an assist for Gini’s goal. Key in the build-up to it as well.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (NR) – Comes on for Origi. Hockey assists with a cheeky flick on the third goal. Misses a mark though on the corner that erased our clean sheet.
MAN OF THE MATCH
MO SALAH! MO SALAH! MO SALAH!