By Lewis Rooke – @LV_Rooke
Liverpool catapulted themselves back into form and back to the top of the Premier League with a resounding win 3-0 over Bournemouth at Anfield, courtesy of goals from Sadio Mané, Gini Wijnaldum and Mohamed Salah.
The Reds were excellent throughout in what was a must-win game in the hunt for the Premier League title after two disappointing consecutive draws.
Without further ado, let’s wax lyrical about these table topping Reds…
Alisson: 7.5 – Made a few good saves but was never truly troubled by the Bournemouth attack.
James Milner: 9 – Was a continuous threat down the right hand side and provided the cross from which Sadio scored the opener. So assured and intelligent in possession as is the norm with the Englishman. Brilliant.
Joel Matip: 8 – Was sound today, he looks incredibly ungainly in a Sakho-esque way but still manages to get the job done. Made a vital interception in the second half where he stood up expertly to prevent the ball arriving in the danger area.
Virgil van Dijk: 7.5 – A quieter game for the Dutchman, but nevertheless did his job when called upon.
Andy Robertson: 9 – Thoroughly excellent in the first half running up and down that left channel, providing that typical blend of class and energy we’ve come to expect from the Scotsman. Made a few vital, well-timed tackles to boot too. Continued that into the second half. Fantastic.
Gini Wijnaldum: 9 – Salt and vinegar on that chip there, Gini lad? The sheer audacity the Dutchman had to lob Artur Boruc so close to the goal line had me giggling like a little kid for the best part of five minutes. Wijnaldum controlled the game in the middle of the park and showed what we were missing at West Ham.
Naby Keita: 8.5 – Had a major hand in the third goal with his clever, outside of the foot ball setting away Roberto Firmino who teed up Salah. I’ll echo the words of my fellow editor and podcast host Matt Ramirez in that he “turns quicker than a rabbit on a hot plate”. For so long I’ve been aching for a performance like this from the Guinean, and I’m so glad he has finally shown what he can do after months of uncertainty. Now all he needs is a goal.
Fabinho: 8 – Defensively excellent in the middle of the park throughout with his seven metre legs winning tackle after tackle. Looks at home in red.
Sadio Mane: 9 – Scored the first goal after a wonderful ball from James Milner and was industrious and sharp throughout the first half. Especially loved his fiery determination to prevent the ball going out for a corner which sent him over the advertising hoardings. Was equally as threatening in the second half, too.
Roberto Firmino: 7.5 – Wonderful, unselfish lay off to Mohamed Salah who scored Liverpool’s third. Should have had a goal of his own but he fired straight at Boruc. All in all a better shift for the Brazilian.
Mohamed Salah: 9 – Had a few opportunities in the first half but none were more spectacular than his volley at the close of the half, which if it nestled in the onion bag would have certainly rivalled Gini Wijnaldum’s goal as one of the goals of the season. Eventually got his reward after latching onto Firmino’s lay off to slot delicately in the back of the net. Rattled the bar fifteen minutes from time too, and looked extremely sharp throughout.
Trent Alexander-Arnold: 8 – A welcome sight back on the Anfield turf, Alexander-Arnold almost capped his return with a goal.
Divock Origi: 10 – Fell over.
Daniel Sturridge: N/A
Man of the match
Honestly, I can’t call this one. I’ll have to split it equally between Milner, Gini, Robbo, Sadio and Salah.
And yes, the fence I’m sitting on is very comfortable indeed…