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  • David Tyrer

Player Ratings: Sheffield United 0-1 Liverpool

Bloody hell, we can barely remember what it feels like to witness such an inept display from the Reds but given the quality and maturity in the side now, it's no surprise to see that we some how came away with a 1-nil win.


We've been hearing since the formation of the blasted Premier League that you have to grind out miserable wins like today, in order to become champions of England.


That's exactly what Liverpool did - something we've rarely done in the past. We ground that one out today, with a bit of good fortune on the side too.


Jurgen Klopp won't look at this match in isolation, it was a poor game and he'll take the points and run. We're back at home on Wednesday night for the first time in 4 games and have a couple of home fixtures to look forward to now.


But Klopp will be slightly concerned that our last three games away from home (MK Dons aside) have all been poor. In many ways, the displays have gotten gradually worse.


He'll be keen for the players to get their game faces back on during the week though, as we require three points against Red Bull Salzburg to get our Champions League defence properly on track this season.


Adrian - Weirdly, on a day when the Reds never looked at all comfortable, the keeper had little to do. Made a couple of good saves though, he desperately needs to start coming off his line more often for high balls. 6


Trent Alexander-Arnold - Possibly the 20 year old's worst display in a Red shirt. Let's just leave it at that and hope he picks up from here. 4


Joel Matip - The newly christened Joel 'Matop' was one of the few shining lights today, as he dominated our defence in the first half. He made some great challenges and interceptions, as well as some superb balls forward. 7


Virgil Van Dijk - Quite in the first half and was given the round around a bit but improved in the second half and was eventually the only option for man of the match. He stepped up when we needed him most. 8 Man of the Match


Andy Robertson - Hasn't been at his best, much like Trent this season, but he has been far from as bad as his full back counterpart. His delivery was found wanting but he was solid enough at the back. 6


Fabinho - Unflappable once again. He held onto the ball well under constant pressure but was never able to put the home side under pressure as much with his deep distribution. He and Gini were the reason we didn't lose more ground in the midfield. 7


Gini Wijnaldum - He'll finally get some credit for 'scoring' the winning goal but the lack of insight into what Gini actually offers this team is shocking. Yes, he wasn't a huge threat going forward (until the goal) and yes, he wasn't seen making barnstorming defensive runs and lung-busting tackles but he had a 98% pass completion rate. He hardly lost the ball, never gave it away and is better than anybody we have at retaining possession. In a game like today that is crucial. 7


Jordan Henderson - Went off early in the second half. Was very poor following an early knock, so we'll give him the benefit of the doubt. 5


Sadio Mane - It's been a poor few games for Sadio now, you wonder if he's still struggling after a long couple of seasons. If Shaqiri or Origi are fully ready in the week, they should get the nod against Red Bull instead. Those two missed chances won't have done his confidence any good. 5


Mo Salah - Had a couple of half-chances, and like his two attacking mates, made several poor decisions in attack but his threat is always there and the opposition always overcompensate for him. You have to wonder when we'll start taking advantage of that once again. 6


Roberto Firmino - How does Bobby go from that display a few weeks ago to his last few, where he's struggled to really make an impact. Of course, the limited space, the packing of the opposition's own half doesn't help him but he's struggled against Napoli, Chelsea and Sheffield United. It's something to ponder about how much his display has affected the overall team's display in recent matches. 6


Subs:


Divock Origi - Actually had a positive impact, he presented a different sort of threat down the left side and broke through early after his introduction. Stretched the home defence somewhat more, which may have presented Gini with the chance to shoot that we hadn't really had up until that point. 6


James Milner - Milner's late introduction in games like this are now inevitable. Came on, made some challenges. NA


Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain - On with 12 seconds remaining. Not much else to say. NA



 

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