By ‘The Don’ – @donkopleone
Liverpool went clear at the top of the Premier League, after seeing off second-placed Arsenal in comfortable fashion.
At times, the North London club looked overwhelmed at Anfield, particularly during the early stages of the second half when Jurgen Klopp’s side were at their sumptuous best.
As Sadio Mané and Roberto Firmino were taken off, the Reds seemed to lose a little bit of focus and momentum towards the end of the ninety, but the three points did look to be in the metaphorical bag by this point.
But who stood out for Liverpool on a fine August evening? Here’s how the Reds rated, right after a quick reminder of my rating system…
Adrián – 6: Almost gifted Arsenal an opener when clearing straight into Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and the Kop seemed understandably nervy every time the Spaniard had the ball at his feet. Made a good save when Pépé was through one-on-one, though.
Trent – 7: Assist for Joel Matip’s opening goal and a constant threat down the right, but gave the ball away to lead to Lucas Torreira’s consolation.
Matip – 8.5: Domineering display. Was already impressive before he headed the first goal, and then his recovery speed when Aubameyang went through was a wonderful surprise.
Big Virg – 8: Looked slightly more flustered than usual during the first half an hour… and then he returned to ‘Virgiling’, and seemed intent on reminding Nicolas Pépé of who he was up against for the duration of the second-half, in which he was faultless.
Robbo – 7.5: Best performance so far this season, and you almost felt the Scot might find a rare goal on a few occasions. His energy in the press even during the second half was immense.
Mo – 8.5: Untouchable for the first twenty minutes of the second-half, mugging off David Luiz for both of his goals. Wonderful second and he seems to have learned to take a quality penalty as well, now. Brilliant.
Bobby – 7.5: Some ridiculous touches, including his flick over Dani Ceballos at the end of the first half. Pressed as well as ever, too. Just loses marks on his occasional failure to find the final ball when opportunities presented themselves.
Mané – 7: The quietest of the Reds’ front three on the day, but was a constant threat, regardless. Wanted Sadio to take on Maitland-Niles a few more times because he had the beating of him.
Milly – N/A: All three subs failed to positively impact the game, really. (Wijnaldum 69’)
Oxlade-Chamberlain – 6: Always looks less comfortable when part of a front three (Mané 77’)
Lallana – N/A: What was the purpose of bringing him on? (Firmino 86’)