Player Ratings: Liverpool 2-0 Man Utd
A tense affair, in the end, but ultimately one that'll go down as a resounding win for the Reds in one of our toughest fixtures of the season so far.
Our arch rivals came with a specific plan: to spoil. They did well early on, pushing high up, putting pressure on Trent and Robbo in possession and were getting some joy too.
But a single break, led to a corner, that led to the opening goal. And for the next 20 minutes they couldn't get near us. By half-time it should really have been all over.
A marginal offside call against Mane, was probably right. But a disallowed goal after Van Dijk fairly challenged for the ball with De Gea, which eventually led to our second was farcical.
How VAR came to the conclusion that it was anything other than a weak claim from the United keeper was beyond even Souness and Keane in the Sky Sports studio.
The final 15 minutes of the second half saw Liverpool retreat, allowing United to come on, but with the added protection of Fabinho in midfield. The away side came close a few times but the Reds' final action of the match was to set Salah through for the second. Two nil.
Alisson - When a rival fan or a pundit with an agenda tries to suggest that there's a better keeper in the world than Alisson, the only remedy is to laugh. De Gea made one fine save from Mane, Alisson had to make only one. But it was his comfort and safe hands that set him apart. De Gea always looked edgy. Then Alisson, in the 94th minute, saw his opportunity and assisted Salah with a peach of a kick. That's what sets him apart from the rest of them all. 8
Trent Alexander-Arnold - Wasn't his best day, by a long stretch. Wasn't afforded too many opportunities to get his usual quality into the box. But it was his cross that assisted Van Dijk's goal for the opener. He and Gomez were the most likely way through for United but he managed to keep his nerve in the end. 6
Joe Gomez - Had a bit of a shaky start and wasn't at his best for the most part, but he was galvanised late on by the imperious beast next to him that ensured United didn't find any way through late on. Will happily take his part in the credit for a 7th clean sheet in a row. 7
Virgil Van Dijk - Has the Dutchman ever had a better game for Liverpool? Probably, but it's doubtful he's ever done it in such an important game. The big centre back dominated at both ends of the pitch. Scoring the opening goal initially before repelling everything that Utd could throw at him. Didn't put a foot wrong. 8
Andy Robertson - It was a rough 90 minutes for Robbo who was far from his best. Wasn't troubled a great deal at the back but he's usually the less susceptible of our two full backs so perhaps we should be grateful that he wasn't tested more. 6
Jordan Henderson - Most will argue Henderson, but I actually thought Gini was just as good, and both were absolutely crucial in claiming the three points, so we've got our first shared Man of the Match award. It's richly deserved for both too. Hendo put in a true captain's performance. Never let up, all-action and utterly dominated the midfield areas. Had an almost certain goal denied by De Gea's fine save onto the post. Would've been deserved had he scored the finisher but it wasn't to be. 9 Man of the Match
Gini Wijnaldum - What a player Gini Wijnaldum is. He's often overlooked, as we've stated numerous times, by fans who see how he plays for his country. But Liverpool have, in Gini, the best in the world at what he does. Much like Bobby Firmino. What does he do? Literally everything. He retains possession, tackles, tracks back, is found on the wings, breaking into the box, defending on the edge of his own box. He's literally everywhere. He may not always be the star - at either end - but his body is always where it needs to be. And he always, always gets the ball where it needs to go. Along with Henderson - simply brilliant. 9 Man of the Match
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain - Wasn't his best first half, but grew into the final 10 minutes of the half and was much improved in the early exchanges in the second. Can only hope he can stay fit long enough to get into some good form. Wasn't happy to come off, but Lallana could've argued he was just as deserving of a start too. 7
Sadio Mane - Not a good day for Mane, at all. He was retched in possession. Never looked likely to cause United any real problems. Maybe it was because he was often doubled and tripled up on, but overall just wasn't at the races today. 5
Mo Salah - Had equally as bad a game as Mane in the first half, but whereas Sadio didn't improve, Mo kept on plugging away. He looked frustrated with himself but kept on pushing. He had to wait until the 94th minute to get his reward: a first goal in the Premier League against Man Utd for 2-nil. 7
Roberto Firmino - Had a goal ruled out, much like Gini and was often faced with a wall of Utd shirts but seemed to thrive in those conditions, where Salah and Mane initially struggled. Worked hard, scrapped away and put in a very good shift. 7
Adam Lallana - Looked leggy, giving away a couple of easy balls, soon after coming on but quickly got into the rhythym of the game and held his own. 7
Divock Origi - Didn't really have more than 10 minutes to make an impact. Made a good defensive header toward the end of the match. NA
Fabinho - An extra body in the middle of the park when we needed on. NA