It was supposed to be a difficult game, but Liverpool made it look easy. Sheffield United were swept aside easily in a Premier League game dominated entirely by the home side.
Mohamed Salah got the Reds off to the perfect start by sweeping home from eight yards in the fourth minute. He and Andrew Robertson showed a real killer instinct by taking advantage of a slip from the unfortunate George Baldock.
Sadio Mané made sure of the points in the second half, while the defence were completely dominant to ensure that another clean sheet was recorded.
Liverpool have now gone an entire calendar year without defeat in the Premier League. No Liverpool fan will dare to say that the title is won until it’s mathematically impossible to lose it — we’ve been hurt before — but the Reds really are playing like champions.
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Here’s how the players rated:
Ali 6.5 — Might as well have got out a deckchair and chilled with a Tequila Sunrise for 87 minutes. Had to be alert late on, though, as Blades substitute McBurnie snuck in at the far post. Get him a Sudoku book or something for the next game, Jürgen.
Trent 7 — Some gorgeous deliveries throughout, as usual. Tried to get forward at every opportunity and played his part, but wasn’t as dangerous as he has been in recent weeks. Still a strong performance, though.
JoGo 7.5 — In imperious form. Constantly swept up at the back and contributed heavily to the Sheffield United attackers barely having a sniff of the ball. Man of the match in the last two games, and was a strong contender here again.
Big Virg 7.5 — Cheekily left a Salah pass to run through onto goal, which almost paid off as it struck the post. A superb recovering tackle seemed to suck the confidence out of the opposition strikers, who looked like they didn’t believe they could get past Gomez and van Dijk.
Robbo 7 — Put it on a plate for Salah’s opener with three minutes on the clock. Not ultra-creative other than that, but solid defensively and mobile on the left flank, as usual. Good showing.
Hendo 7.5 — Constantly on the move, constantly harassing opposition midfielders, consistently putting decent deliveries into the penalty area. Just another day at the office for the skipper.
Gini 7 — Contributed his fair share to Liverpool’s dominance of the midfield. Some nice touches, though I felt he didn’t make the most of some opportunities to push forward and get his side on the front foot quicker.
Milly 7.5 — Similar to Gini really, but was a bit more proactive in attack. Never easy to replace someone last-minute as he did when Naby Keïta picked up an injury in the warm-up, but got involved and kept the midfield engine ticking over. Still useful for a man who turns 34 on Saturday.
Mo 8 — Loved the killer instinct to make the most of Baldock’s early slip by making sure to take the resulting chance. Not often of late that the Egyptian scores with his first effort of the match, so this will be a confidence booster. Forced a brilliant save from Dean Henderson not long after, while a pass for van Dijk in the second half ended up hitting the post and almost crossing the line. Threaded the needle later on to set up Mané’s goal, and was involved in pretty much everything good that the Reds did in the attacking third. Man of the match.
Bobby 6 — Every time he had the opportunity to create, he either chose the wrong option entirely or didn’t get the execution right. Had one outstanding effort from the edge of the box, though, which flashed narrowly wide of the top corner. Summed up his evening by missing an open goal from five yards. Good link-up play, as usual, and a couple of decent tackles, but nowhere near as effective as he could have been.
Sadio 7.5 — Tried to run in behind at every opportunity. Was a victim of Firmino’s wasteful passing at times, but struck gold after being played in by the brilliant Salah. Took two attempts to finish it after Henderson spread himself to block the first, but would not be denied his goal.
Divvy 6.5 — Replaced Mané on 77 minutes. Ran about a bit, but didn’t see much of the ball. Got back into his own penalty area in second-half injury time to get in an important tackle, which was appreciated by the Anfield crowd.
La La Land N/A — On for Robertson in the 88th minute. Not one single Cruyff turn. Shocking.
Elliott N/A — On for Salah with 90 seconds to go. Still hasn’t cut his hair.