By Lewis Rooke – @LV_Rooke
Catch your breath. Calm yourself as you realise Liverpool have somehow extended their lead at the top of the Premier League by coming away with all three points against a fighting Crystal Palace. Mohamed Salah got himself two goals, with Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino also notching after being pegged back several times.
Here’s how the Reds rated on a dramatic afternoon at Anfield…
Alisson: 7 – You know what, I couldn’t even tell you if he was at fault for any of the Palace goals – and you know what, I don’t really care. Let’s give him a seven – yeah, sounds alright.
James Milner: 7 – Got up and down the flank extremely well whilst deputising for Trent Alexander-Arnold, yet was outpaced by Wilfried Zaha for Palace’s goal. In an extremely eventful game for the Englishman, who saw Palace break down his side time and time again, Milner held up okay. Was sent down the tunnel for an early Ribena for a second bookable offence late on.
Joel Matip: 6.5 – Thought he was Mo Salah when he was set through in the first the first ten there didn’t he, though the Cameroonian was denied by Julian Speroni. Bit of a mixed bag for Matip today, who wasn’t perfect in defence.
Virgil van Dijk: 8 – The usual Virgil, however he will be utterly raging having shipped three goals. Potentially a claim can be made for him being at fault for Tomkins’ goal, but the Dutchman is very rarely caught off guard so we’ll let that slide. Halted a vibrant Palace attacking unit a number of times.
Andy Robertson: 8 – Fresh from signing his shiny new contract, the Scottish was typical of himsef throughout. Up and down all game, you have to wonder where he buys his lungs – I want a pair.
Jordan Henderson: 6.5 – Just as likely to fire a promising ball out of play as he is to make a defence splitting pass, it wasn’t Henderson’s best game today – nor was it his worst. I’ll park myself firmly on the fence for this one.
Fabinho: 7 – Back in his more familiar midfield position after his starring role in defence, seemed composed enough but failed to pick up Tomkins for his goal from the corner. Wasn’t as involved second half, though.
Naby Keita: 5.5 – Still seems a little shy in a red shirt. I’m still waiting for the Guinean to grab a game by the bollocks and really arrive on the scene – but he’s still a way away from that point yet. A lot to do if he is to dislodge Gini Wijnaldum from the team.
Sadio Mane: 7 – The Senegalese was proficient on the wing without being clinical, offered width and caused problems. He’ll be disappointed he didn’t put Palace to bed with a chance on 90 minutes. Eventually did get his chance to tuck Roy Hodgson in with a nice cup of Horlicks just two minutes later – putting the Reds 4-2 up.
Roberto Firmino: 7 – The Brazilian dropped into some extremely deep positions in the first half- whilst not unusual, Firmino would have been better served a little higher up the field. That changed in the second half as the number nine found a pocket of space in the box and slotted past Speroni to give Liverpool the lead.
Mohamed Salah: 8.5 – The Egyptian got the all-important equaliser at the beginning of the second half with some instinctive movement from a deflected Virgil van Dijk shot. Salah got an equally instinctive yet equally scrappy third goal courtesy of a mistake from Julian Speroni, a deserved brace and my man of the match.