CHELSEA 1-2 LIVERPOOL – PLAYER RATINGS
Liverpool remain top of the league, keeping their 100% start to the domestic season in tact after a nervy 2-1 win away to Chelsea with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Roberto Firmino being the goal scorers.
ADRIAN (8) – What a back-up goalkeeper we have in Adrian! Another almost perfect performance makes it very easy for the Spaniard to receive a high rating. A goalkeeper that is gaining in confidence showed his self-belief with a few good chip passes under pressure alongside a notable 1 one 1 save versus the pacey Tammy Abraham, keeping the ball out with his thigh. Some strong collections of the ball in tight situations showed his ever-growing presence in this Liverpool team. Cult hero potential?
TRENT ALEXANDER-ARNOLD (7) – Trent scored one of the goals of the season in the 13th minute of the game after being laid off from a free kick by Mo Salah and blasting the ball into the top right-hand corner of the goal. A stunning finish. Even though he looked much better in defense today, Chelsea, particularly in the first half, were finding plenty of joy down their left-hand side. Also, a pass success rate of just 56% meant that TAA did lose the ball an awful lot of times. This targeting of Trent seems to be becoming more of a common theme of late, with Napoli doing the same midweek. All in all, an average performance from Trent.
JOEL MATIP (8.5, MOTM) – What a man Joel the pole is. How many times do them giant, lanky legs of his wrap round an opposing player like cling film, and steal the ball? A man of the match performance from Joel. Some fantastic tackles from Joel stopped many a Chelsea attack. With legs the length, not quite the width, of tree stumps, Matip eased his way in and out of many a tackle, winning the ball almost every time. One of the most underrated defenders, if not players, in world football right now.
VIRGIL VAN DIJK (7.5) – Yet again, a good performance from VVD. The dutchman rose highest and won 4 aerial duels, the most in the match as he commanded the backline through to see out the game and secure the 3 points. Along with almost every Liverpool defender in fairness, Virgil Van Dijk did stand of Kante as he produced a fantastic finish to reduce the deficit to 2-1. My highlight was when he seemed to stand still, and still almost have Kante tumbling to the ground after the Chelsea man ran into him. I wonder how much weight VVD can lift.
ANDY ROBERTSON (7.5) – The working-class hero put in a solid shift once again for Liverpool. Robbo delivered a delicious cross into the box to assist Liverpool’s second goal, exposing Chelsea’s set-piece weaknesses once more, whilst marauding the left flank constantly, tirelessly running up and down the pitch as per usual. Notably, in the early stages of the game, Robertson made an important block on Willian, as the Chelsea man almost whipped in a lovely cross. Nothing much to complain about, really.
FABINHO (7) – During the first half, Fabinho was Liverpool’s best player, using his strength and fantastic ability to be able to tackle any player in the world. On his 50th appearance for the reds, the engine of the team was able to pick out many an accurate pass, switching the ball all over the field. Fabinho was later booked for what was quite obviously a foul, wrestling the onrushing Michy Batshuayi to the ground in order to stop the counter attack. A clever yellow to concede and a good performance again. He really could turn out to be one of Liverpool’s most clever purchases in recent history.
JORDAN HENDERSON (6.5) – Henderson is a hard one to rate. I think he is most certainly good enough to be in this Liverpool squad but it is tricky to know if he’s had a good game or not, which makes my job reasonably difficult. In saying this, although Hendo didn’t pull off a Maradona or a rainbow flick, and I’m sure he never will, he worked his absolute socks off as usual to ensure that Chelsea players had little to no time on the ball, breaking up quite a few Chelsea attacks and playing the ball around fairly well. Not too shabby.
GEORGINIO WIJNALDUM (6) – You can never criticise Gini’s work rate, and that’s why we love him, but during the game his influence was at a serious minimum. In all honesty, he simply didn’t get enough of the ball to stamp his authority on the fixture. I really don’t have an awful lot to say about Wijnaldum.
SADIO MANE (7.5) – Sadio Mane was fairly influential during the match, even though he and his attacking partners weren’t able to link up as much as usual. Sadio’s telling contribution came as he cleverly won the free kick that led to the first goal, after a foul from Chelsea’s Danish centre-back, Andreas Christensen. Sadio was substituted in the second half, with James Milner coming on in a defensive move to try and secure the victory. He must be a nightmare to defend against.
MOHAMED SALAH (6) – Not one of Mo Salah’s finest performances as Chelsea defender Fikayo Tomori seemed to have the better of him during the game, and second half in particular. Salah didn’t look quite as on the ball as usual, and surprisingly wasn’t the man that was substituted when James Milner entered the field. Mo did lay off a clever backheel to surprise the Chelsea defense before Trent scored the opener.
ROBERTO FIRMINO (8) – I’ll say it once and I’ll say it again. Bobby Firmino is one of my favourite players in the Liverpool squad, and quite potentially, ever. He has to be the first name down on the team sheet every weekend and proved his vital nature to this Liverpool squad when in the 30th minute he netted the second, with a lovely header following an Andy Robertson cross. His work rate was yet again next level as the Brazilian pressed the Chelsea backline and used his intelligence to work his way into the game, with some lovely passes and sumptuous movement off the ball to create space. You’ve got to love him.
JAMES MILNER (6) – Whilst only being on the field for 20 minutes or so, Milly added that extra bit of energy that Liverpool craved to see out the game, during a very nervous period. Not bad at all.
ADAM LALLANA (5) – Entering the field on 83 minutes, and in all honesty I’m not quite sure why, Lallana didn’t really have much of an impression on the match. A pair of fresh, well mostly injured, legs I suppose.
JOE GOMEZ (N/A) – WHAT A PERFORMA… only joking, he was only on the field for a few minutes. Probably picked up an appearance bonus though so fair play.
Written by CAMERON WILSON, Twitter – @cam1wilson