Liverpool responded to defeat at Manchester City in a lethargic fashion as a struggling Aston Villa were narrowly beaten at Anfield.
A host of players were once again well below their normal high standards against Dean Smith’s side, but a handful of Reds did make an impression in the latest home victory.
All that mattered from the team perspective was the win – three more points towards that three-figure target to set a new Premier League record.
Here are the Liverpool winners and losers from the game:
Alisson BeckerEmbed from Getty Images
The Brazilian once again showed why he is the best goalkeeper in the world. With limited action during the 90 minutes it would have been easy for Alisson to lose concentration, but the former Roma goalkeeper pulled off a handful of excellent saves to deny Aston Villa during key moments of the game.
A particular highlight came at 2-0 when faced with an onrushing Jack Grealish, he would spring to his left and palm the Englishman’s effort beyond the post denying what looked like a certain goal. The calmness and positivity this must spread amongst the backline is infectious and further justifies the hefty transfer fee to gain his services last year.
His distribution was once again accurate and secure, giving any player ample time to get there head up and make a positive move forward. Another clean sheet to add to the ever-growing collection for Liverpool’s No.1 ties him once again at the top of the Golden Glove standings. Back-to-back awards is very much on the cards for the Yashin Trophy winner.
Naby KeïtaEmbed from Getty Images
Another promising performance from the Guinean. After his cameo on Thursday night, Klopp threw him in from the start and he did not disappoint, providing a telling contribution to the game.
He once again retained and recycled possession with ease defensively, whilst he distributed passes to the forwards perfectly when they needed them. A key example of this was his pivotal assist for the first goal. After finding himself on the left side of the box with a handful of Aston Villa players in front of him, he played a surgical ball through the bodies to the feet of Sadio Mané who blasted home.
It was another performance in which we saw Keïta impress and he is starting to show the consistency that Liverpool supporters have been waiting for. If he can continue to play in this fashion and expand his skill set to what was previously shown at RB Leipzig, Reds fans should start to get really excited.
Curtis JonesEmbed from Getty Images
What a weekend it has been for the local boy. After signing his new five-year contract with the club on Saturday, he scored his first Premier League goal the following afternoon – a special moment for the teenager and one that will live long in the memory.
After being brought on with fewer than 10 minutes to make an impact, he injected some much-needed urgency into the front line that had generally laboured for the majority of the game. He was not short of confidence after coming on as he carried the ball into the final third on several occasions and took on a couple of long-range efforts.
His key contribution came as the ball was nodded back to him by Salah before he drilled the ball into the bottom corner past former Reds ‘keeper Pepe Reina. The Scouser exerted a loud bellow to show what it meant and it was nothing short of what he deserved from his small cameo. Hopefully this is just the start for the 19-year-old with plenty of playing time to come.
Andrew RobertsonEmbed from Getty Images
The Scotsman has enjoyed a stunning season for Liverpool thus far. He and Trent Alexander-Arnold are regarded as two of the best full-backs currently in world football, but his last two performances have not lived up to that billing and left a lot to be desired.
After a nightmare evening at the Etihad in midweek this was a great opportunity to bounce back. Instead this performance was equally poor – an early booking for a late tackle on Douglas Luiz was followed by several poor touches gifting possession to the visitors. This happened throughout the first 45 minutes which left the Scottish international visually frustrated at the interval. His second half appearance was slightly better but you could tell that that his last three halves of football had knocked his confidence.
This outing was minor blip in a tremendous portfolio of performances from this season. With few other options currently at left-back, it will be up to the former Hull City man to play his way back into good form. The next fixture against Brighton on Wednesday will give him the perfect stage to do so.
Divock OrigiEmbed from Getty Images
After last season’s heroics many thought the Belgian would progress to be a reliable back up for the front three. Unfortunately, when called upon he has generally failed to impress, and this game was no different.
Starting in his favoured position as central striker and sporting a new hairdo, he struggled to involve himself in the game at all. A lack of movement, loose passes, poor skill execution and lack of ball retention contributed to the overall disappointing showing. This display further emphasised how much the team rely on Roberto Firmino and the work the Brazilian gets through during his time on the pitch.
Origi has been an integral part of the team who has achieved so much in the last two seasons but many believe that he is not strong enough to be back up for the front three. Hopefully we will see him put in some good performances before the end of the season otherwise we could see the 25-year-old leaving in the upcoming window.
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