A Win’s a Win
Brighton at home should’ve been one of the most comfortable fixtures of the season on paper, but the Reds made harder work of it than needed.
Full credit to Brighton for putting up a strong fight as they tried to repeat their performance from the previous week against Manchester United, but Liverpool should’ve waltzed to victory instead of battling for it.
In all fairness if the goalkeeper didn’t have such a good game and our finishing was on point, the scoreline could’ve been far greater.
Alisson – 8:
Alisson started the game as he finished the last, calm and in control. He even had the confidence to chip an oncoming attacker, but later he almost got caught out trying to be cheeky again.
A couple of good saves throughout the game including a wonder save to deny Pascal Gross late on would have been as relieving for his teammates as it was for the fans.
Trent Alexander-Arnold – 7:
Trent’s starting to get there, and hjis display against Brighton was a small reminder of what he’s capable of.
An amazing cross-field pass followed by a shot that rattled the crossbar combined with a solid defensive performance is why Clyne can’t get back into the team.
Joe Gomez – 8:
Many fans questioned Klopp’s decision to throw Gomez in the deep end by immediately starting him at centre back, but Joe’s been getting better and better.
His presence was felt even more than his partner VVD, which takes some doing. Their partnership is well and truly progressing.
Virgil van Dijk – 6.5:
By VVD’s standards, this was far from his best performance.
One under-hit backpass aside, he didn’t do a lot wrong, he just wasn’t as influential as we expect him to be.
Andy Robertson – 7.5:
You could practically copy and paste the comments about Robbo for every game.
He was a constant outlet down the left and left very few scraps for the opposition to feed on. Well and truly one of the most consistent performers at the club.
Gini Wijnaldum – 8:
Gini is looking undroppable at this moment.
He controlled the game excellently and clearly understands the role that Klopp wants him to play to a tee. That aspect in particular appears to be the main reason Fabinho hasn’t featured yet.
James Milner – 9 (Man of the Match):
Before the season started, many wondered how close Milner was to retirement, but incredibly he appears to still be improving.
Milner was everywhere against Brighton and it paid dividends as he dispossessed Yves Bissouma, leading to Salah’s goal.
Naby Keita – 6.5:
As talented as Keita clearly is, he has some ways to go before his is fully up to speed with Klopp’s system.
His passing and dribbling was just a beat off at times and he faded badly as the game went on.
Mo Salah – 6.5:
Again the match-winner, again below par.
Salah is still miles away from the player who exploded into the Premier League last season, but he’s still scoring goals and winning games so it’s difficult to complain.
Sadio Mane – 6:
Unlike Salah, Mane has been one of our best performers so far this season, but he had a bad day against Brighton.
He just couldn’t quite find the right pass or make the right run throughout the game, but there’s no reason to worry about it carrying on for too much longer.
Bobby Firmino – 6.5:
What a world we live in when our mighty front three are the worst performers in a home victory.
Much like Salah, Bobby needs time to get back to his best, it is also clear that teams are targeting him more now than ever before.
Jordan Henderson – (on for Keita ’66) 7:
Hendo again came on to secure the result and he did so faultlessly.
Daniel Sturridge – (on for Mane ’79) N/A:
No time to make an impact.
Joel Matip – (on for TAA -89) N/A:
No time to make an impact.
Unused Subs – Mignolet, Moreno, Lallana, Shaqiri
Jurgen Klopp – 7:
The best thing that can be said about Klopp in this game was that it was further evidence of the winning mentality that he has slowly built into his team.
He didn’t get the best out of them in this game, but the three points is really all that matters in the end.
It should’ve been expected that it would take time for Bobby, Mo and Mane to replicate their unbeleivable form of last season.
However, many fans would’ve hoped that Brighton at home would’ve been the perfect game for everything to click back into gear, it wasn’t to be though.
Regardless, Liverpool’s perfect start to the season rolls on and you have to wonder what the team will look like when everything’s running at top gear.
Rotation and Consistency
Klopp’s been fortunate enough to pick the same team for three weeks running, something which always helps consistency.
However, Brighton at home should’ve been an oppertunity for the likes of Sturridge, Shaqiri and Fabinho to show their qualities.
It also would’ve had the double effect of giving some other players a rest before the upcoming international break where players tend to get knocked around by long-distance travel and sub-par pitches.
City Drop Points
Equally important to Liverpool’s win was Manchester City drawing, and almost losing to, Wolves.
Of course it’s far too early to have any real effect on the title race, but it surely will give the Reds a confidence boost and show the rest of the league that there are chinks in City’s armour if you’re brave enough to look for them.
Elsewhere, Chelsea and Tottenham are showing their credentials as dark horses, but you’d think that by May they’ll be fighting for 3rd and 4th, not silverware.
You’ll Never Walk Alone
Red Or Dead – Liverpool FC Football Blog – on 01/09/2018