Liverpool ratings as Joe Gomez gets 9 but Trent Alexander-Arnold just 4 vs Leicester

Alex Broun 1/09/2018
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Joe Gomez was superb for Liverpool against Leicester

Liverpool travelled to Leicester hoping to preserve their perfect start to the season – and the first half was a dream scenario after Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino struck.

But the hosts were let back in it after the break as Alisson gifted the hosts a goal through a Loris Karius-like blunder. Thanks to the superb Joe Gomez, playing in front of England coach Gareth Southgate, the Reds held on although they did fail to record their fourth clean sheet of the season.

Here are our Liverpool player ratings:

Alisson – 6

Blotted a strong game with a horrific second-half blunder, and a good save from Demarai Gray on 23 minutes.  Strong take from a corner in first half, then calamity as he was too tricky in the box and was dispossessed by Kelechi Iheanacho – leading to first goal conceded in his Liverpool career.

Trent Alexander-Arnold – 4

Poor touch to give the ball away early and tried an over-ambitious Alisson-like flick over a Leicester attacker to also give the ball away in a dangerous area. Ran out a lot with not much purpose, Ben Chilwell also kept him on his toes. Seemed to come into the game more when Xherdan Shaqiri came on, finally getting down the right wing, substituted on 88 minutes for Joel Matip.

Virgil van Dijk – 6

Got a quick boot in to cut a dangerous ball out on 30 minutes, dominant in the air and dealt with anything that came his way. Gave the ball away poorly early in second half leading to a shot for James Maddison, and Maddison continued to give headaches to the Dutchman earning a yellow card on 55 minutes. Solid header to diffuse late Leicester threat but some uncustomary lapses.

Joe Gomez – 9

Worked hard on Gray to shut down the Leicester man and showed great pace and vision to snuff out some other dangerous attacks. Saved Van Dijk with a superb block from Maddison, and whenever Liverpool were in trouble Gomez seemed to be there. Superb overall performance and more than deserving of the man of the match award.

Andrew Robertson – 8

Another copybook performance, superb run down the left to set up Sadio Mane for opener showing strength and purpose to overpower Ricardo. Crucial header to clear dangerous corner early in second half, and cleaned up regularly when Van Dijk and Alexander-Arnold slipped up. Gomez and Robertson saved the Reds on more occasions than Jurgen Klopp would have preferred.

James Milner – 7

Midfield enforcer, shown up early by Mendy’s pace but worked hard to close down Leicester midfield, great covering back to shut down a dangerous ball towards Ricardo, perfectly placed corner for Firmino’s goal, bad foul on Ricardo on 92 minutes to give Leicester a dangerous free kick, worked hard but seemed a little off the pace all game.

Jordan Henderson – 6

Slotted in straight away on return to XI with James Milner, finding good space to distribute, sat in front of the back four and did a solid job without doing anything spectacular, substituted for Naby Keita on 70 minutes.

Gini Wijanladum – 6

Put under tremendous pressure by the Leicester midfield who seemed to identify him as a weak link, denied any space and room. Poor giveaway to Albrighton led to chance for Gray. Liverpool missed Keita’s pace and energy to open space and struggled to keep the ball, worked hard but outplayed.

Mohamed Salah – 7

A superb pass to set up Firmino early but then missed the regulation follow-up. Nowhere near as sharp as last year in terms of finishing yet but becoming a great provider for his fellow front man, worked hard all day without much reward, substituted surprisingly on 70 minutes for Shaqiri.

Roberto Firmino – 8

Mr perpetual motion. Had a couple of chances provided by Salah that he was unable to finish early on. Worked hard in the first 45 minutes to win ball up the field but was often shut down by Leicester defenders. Took his header brilliantly with a great run to shake off Maddison and ruthless finish, worked hard for 95 minutes.

Sadio Mane – 7

Superb pace and pinpoint finish to grab opening goal, providing the finishing Salah is missing at the moment. Covered back superbly with some excellent interceptions in first half, couldn’t get in to the game in the second half and cut a frustrated figure, either tired or sullen as he stopped working hard off the ball or chasing as hard as the first stanza.

Subsititutes

Naby Keita – 7

On for Jordan Henderson on 70 minutes, got involved holding up the ball in Leicester’s half. Did exactly as he would have been instructed, won a free-kick to round up the action

Xherdan Shaqiri – 7

On for 70 minutes for Salah, got busy straight away with runs down the left and linking well with Trent Alexander-Arnold. Kept Leicester on the defensive as Liverpool tried to wind down the clock, Klopp would have been very pleased.

Joel Matip – NA

On at 88 minutes for Alexander-Arnold, little to do.

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Liverpool march on in Premier League despite Alisson blunder

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Unsettled Liverpool edged past battling Leicester 2-1 after Alisson‘s howler threatened to blow their 100 per cent record.

First-half goals from Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino put Liverpool in control at the King Power Stadium before the hosts hit back thanks to Alisson’s gaffe.

His error, which saw him robbed of possession by Kelechi Iheanacho and resulted in Rachid Ghezzal slotting home, was the first goal the Brazilian has conceded since his £67million summer move from Roma.

But Liverpool survived to record their fourth straight win and continue their flying start to the campaign.

Leicester battled well and worried the visitors but failed to cash in once they had Liverpool on the ropes.

Ultimately, the Foxes paid the price for a slow start and Mohamed Salah missed a sitter after just four minutes when the usually lethal forward sidefooted wide from 10 yards after Kasper Schmeichel denied Firmino.

Salah’s slip was a collectors’ item and Mane showed him a clinical edge just six minutes later.

There had already been some worrying gaps in the Leicester defence and Mane capitalised on a lucky ricochet to open the scoring.

Andrew Robertson bundled his way down the right and Harry Maguire deflected his cross to Mane and the forward poked past Schmeichel.

A goal up, Liverpool settled and dominated, toying with their hosts as Firmino and Salah waltzed through the Foxes’ lines and Georginio Wijnaldum’s effort was blocked by Maguire.

Leicester lacked presence and punch without the suspended Jamie Vardy but began to show signs of life after 22 minutes.

A poor touch from Wijnaldum allowed Leicester to gain a footing and Demarai Gray forced Alisson into a low stop.

Leicester were emboldened and with Liverpool no longer in charge James Maddison began to threaten, in front of the watching Gareth Southgate.

The midfielder shot over 10 minutes before the break and found pockets of space to unnerve the visitors.

But, marshalled by Virgil van Dijk the red wall refused to budge and even if they had briefly lost control of midfield there was never a sense Liverpool were in real trouble.

Leicester had gained a foothold, at least, but it was whipped from under them a minute before the break.

Schmeichel, making his 300th appearance for Leicester, turned Salah’s curling effort behind before Firmino pounced.

Leicester defended the initial corner but when James Milner swung the ball in from the other side Firmino brushed off Maddison’s weak challenge to head in.

At 2-0 it was a long way back for the hosts but Maddison almost started the revival six minutes after the break only for Joe Gomez’s excellent covering tackle to deny him.

Wes Morgan then failed to get a proper touch on Ben Chilwell’s cross with Alisson exposed.

Leicester sensed a way back and they grabbed a goal after 63 minutes thanks to Alisson’s calamitous mistake.

The Foxes forced Liverpool into retreat and while Van Dijk’s back-pass pushed Alisson wide the Brazil international was too slow to clear.

His attempt to turn Iheanacho only allowed the striker to steal the ball and cross for Ghezzal to net from six yards.

Liverpool had failed to get going in the second half – missing a four-on-two chance just before Ghezzal’s goal – and paid the price.

But Leicester could not find a second as Jurgen Klopp’s Reds clung on to all three points.

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Naby Keita dropped as Jordan Henderson gets nod for Liverpool against Leicester

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Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson will make his first start of the Premier League season away to Leicester after coming into the side at the expense of Naby Keita.

Henderson is the sole change to the Liverpool side that beat Brighton 1-0 last weekend, as the Reds look to make it four Premier League wins from four before the international break.

Meanwhile Claude Puel has brought in two new names to the Leicester starting XI that was victorious against Southampton, as Marc Albrighton and Rachid Ghezzal get the nod.

Leicester: Schmeichel, Ricardo Pereira, Morgan, Maguire, Chilwell, Mendy, Ndidi, Albrighton, Maddison, Gray, Ghezzal.
Subs: Evans, Iheanacho, Ward, Amartey, Okazaki, Iborra, Fuchs.

Liverpool: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, van Dijk, Robertson, Wijnaldum, Henderson, Milner, Salah, Firmino, Mane.
Subs: Keita, Sturridge, Moreno, Lallana, Mignolet, Shaqiri, Matip.

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