A shocking Mahrez penalty miss ensured Liverpool left Anfield with a point against Manchester City in what was a rather drab affair. Here’s how we rated the players:
Alisson got down well to deny Mahrez on a few occasions after the break, but didn’t have too much to do. With all the praise he received for his distribution prior to signing for us, it was rather wayward today.
Joe Gomez: 7.5
It was disappointing to see Gomez shifted to right-back after the cohesion he’d developed while playing alongside Van Dijk and although he started shakily, he grew into the game as it progressed. He was poorly positioned frequently before the break, but still put in some good challenges on Sterling and he was surprisingly effective going forward. Centre-back is without question his best position, but he still did well.
Dejan Lovren: 7
There were probably a fair few Liverpool fans groaning upon seeing Lovren’s return to the starting lineup, and he did little to ease these groans with a rash challenge on Aguero inside the box where he was fortunate not to give away a penalty. Similarly to Gomez, he got better as the game developed and Van Dijk clearly makes him perform better.
Virgil Van Dijk: 7.5
Up until the 84th minute, Van Dijk was exactly what we expect from him. He was commanding, dominant and dealt with every City attack well. The penalty he gave away on Sane was completely unlike him though; Sane was running into nowhere and the challenge was unnecessary. Got very fortunate that Mahrez missed the resulting penalty and he didn’t end up as the villain after a great display.
Andrew Robertson: 7
In the opening ten minutes, Robbo was the best player on the pitch by a considerable distance — he made plenty of lung-busting runs down the left-flank and there was a great moment where he went past Walker with ease. His influence went down gradually in the second-half and he struggled dealing with Mahrez at times, but he was still solid.
Jordan Henderson: 8 (Man of the Match)
Hendo seemed to have a point to prove following the criticism he’s received as of late, and he started the game exceptionally well. He won the ball back aplenty, was always trying to pick out a pass and was much improved from his backwards/sideways performance against Napoli. Like many others today, he dipped somewhat the further the game went along, but that’s unsurprising with the amount of football played recently.
Georginio Wijnaldum: 7
Wijnaldum had a decent game this afternoon and you couldn’t dispute his effort. He was constantly trying to be a creative outlet and make things happen, but he faded late on, which was epitomised by a sloppy yellow card. He played his best football for us as a holding midfielder and that should be his position.
James Milner: 6.5
Millie was all over the pitch in the opening minutes, pressing well and trying to move the ball forward. It was a blow to see him pull up with (presumably) a hamstring injury at around the half an hour mark but with how fatigued he’s looked recently, was it that much of a surprise? It’s easy to forget he’s 32-years-old sometimes, but playing 3 matches in the space of just over a week is a push even for him.
Mo Salah: 6.5
Mo was by a considerable margin the most lively of our front line today, yet it still didn’t come off for him. He left Stones on the floor in the opening minutes but fired just off target and this was a similar story later on when he got past Laporte. Whether it’s a confidence issue or just struggling to live up to the pressure, it’s hard to say.
Roberto Firmino: 4.5
To say Bobby was anonymous today would probably be an understatement. He barely did anything in the game and looked a shadow of the elusive forward we saw last season. He didn’t exactly look tired either as he was still working hard and he needs to find his rhythm again soon.
Sadio Mane: 5
After his blistering early season form, it was disappointing to see Mane so flat again today. He was predictable going forward and his final ball was often the wrong option. Just like the rest of the attack, he’s far from his best and it’s difficult to comprehend why.
Naby Keita: 5
Coming on for the injured Milner, Keita was supposed to provide the creativity and link up the midfield to the attack, but he did very little of that today. He lost the ball often and was practically a passenger. He looks far from the player we were so excited to sign and seems to have regressed. It’s too early to write him off, but we expect more.
Daniel Sturridge: 5
Sturridge was given longer on the pitch today by Klopp, but couldn’t make an impact.