Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool side kicked off their Premier League season with a thrilling 4-3 victory over rivals Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium in a game which went from end to end before the Reds came out victorious.
Here’s my player ratings for the lads involved in this afternoon’s game, influenced largely by the terror that one particular Spanish left back caused me in the first half…
Simon Mignolet – 7/10
Very impressed with Mignolet today. Walcott’s penalty was poor but Mignolet still did well to get it, continuing his excellent record at facing penalties. Distribution was improved and was able to start off a few attacks from the back. Commanded his area well and wasn’t at fault for any of the goals.
Nathaniel Clyne – 7/10
Hard to give him a low rating after providing such a scintillating ball for Coutinho’s second goal, which was delivered to a tee. Supported the attack really well and was involved in some nice link up with Mane. Having said that, defensively Clyne wasn’t as good as usual, he was caught out of position a few times.
Dejan Lovren – 7/10
Liverpool’s rock at the back was once again impressive today. Dealt with balls into the back very well and Alexis Sanchez couldn’t get properly involved in the game, largely due to how Lovren and Klavan dealt with him. Couldn’t do anything about the second Arsenal goal which deflected off him.
Ragnar Klavan – 8/10
What a bargain we look to have got ourselves here. Klavan is just such a sensible defender and bearing in mind he has Moreno to his left hand side, he has a lot to do. He and Lovren pocketed Sanchez pretty comfortably. Covered the entire left hand side well. Has the perfect mix of ball playing and just ‘ugly’ defending. Great performance.
Alberto Moreno – 5/10
And that’s been extremely generous. Where do I even begin with his first half performance? Gave the ball away at almost every opportunity, made a ridiculously rash challenge to give away the penalty which came just a few minutes after handing Arsenal a gilt edged chance, which only came to nothing because Moreno made a two footed lunge which fortunately came off. Not exclusively at fault for the first goal as some thought. Was better in the second half but as Gary Neville surmised today ‘You might as well start a goal down when you’ve got Moreno’.
Jordan Henderson – 8/10
I saw Henderson getting slated on Twitter today, but let’s remember that Henderson is absolutely not a CDM and was played out of position in the first half. Was brilliant in the second half as he helped take control of the game and press forward. Worked incredibly hard and showed his captain-like qualities by managing the time towards the end. Going forward, needs to be playing higher than Can at CDM.
Georginio Wijnaldum – 7/10
Struggled to get into the game in the first half but was strongly involved after the break. Set up the second Liverpool goal with a lovely weighted ball to Lallana, and was involved in some nice intricate passing as we went through our purple patch.
Adam Lallana – 7/10
Might seem harsh me only giving him a seven. I was expecting him to play as a number ten in a 4-2-3-1 rather than the most advanced midfielder in the 4-3-3. Was very poor in the first half and gave the ball away in the lead up to Walcott’s goal. Much better in the second half though, attacking well and scored a lovely goal, with a beautiful first touch. Klopp will have to think about what Lallana’s most effective position actually is.
Sadio Mane – 9/10
Wow, that was some debut from Mane. Was the only player of the front three who was really involved in the first half, and then really stepped it up in the second period. His pace is just electric and it showed today, he ran Nacho Monreal, the best left back in the league, absolutely ragged. Had involvement in the second and third goal before scoring the first himself, a glorious run and finish. Massive player for us this season.
Philippe Coutinho – 9/10
One of Coutinho’s best performances in a Liverpool shirt today. Struggled to get involved in the game early on, and then bang – he scores a stunning free kick. Helped to create the second goal before adding the third himself, a lovely deft finish which he did really well to guide past Petr Cech. Involved in everything good we did, a genuinely tremendous display.
Roberto Firmino – 7/10
I always find it so hard to rate Firmino because it’s so hard to work out if he’s struggling or if he’s just biding his time until he gets into the game. Showed some really nice touches and was involved in some lovely passing moves. It’s still weird seeing him play a false nine, although I do think that when he’s having a quiet patch in the game it’s less detrimental to the team that he’s in the nine rather than the ten.
Emre Can – 6/10
Very surprised he didn’t start considering that he made the bench. Looked fine when he came on but wasn’t involved too much. I hope he gets to play alongside Henderson soon enough.
Divock Origi – 6/10
Offered us an outlet and put the Arsenal back four under pressure, making it hard for them to create attacks.
Kevin Stewart – 6/10
Very good to see him involved today, Klopp clearly trusts him to do a job in the centre of midfield. Makes me think that he could be sticking around as backup.