Liverpool kept pace with Premier League leaders Manchester City, as a late Divock Origi clinched a dramatic 1-0 win over Everton at Anfield on Sunday.
On what was another frustrating evening for them, the Reds were left frustrated for large parts of the game, with a number of opportunities being spurned. The likes of Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Xherdan Shaqiri missed clear-cut chances, with the first goal eluding Liverpool through regulation time.
Everton weren’t any better either, with Andre Gomes and Yerry Mina fluffing their lines, while Alisson Becker thwarted the visitors as well. But, just as it looked like the 232nd Merseyside derby was going to end all square for the third successive Premier League game, Divock Origi sealed all three points for Liverpool with the last move of the game.
Virgil van Dijk’s long-range volley was saved by Jordan Pickford, but the Everton no. 1 failed to tip the ball over the bar. As the ball returned into play, Origi showed tremendous poaching ability to head the ball into the back of the net, kicking off frenzied celebrations, with Jurgen Klopp rushing on to the pitch to celebrate with Alisson.
The result meant Liverpool remained two points behind Manchester City as their unbeaten start to the Premier League season continued. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Klopp’s men following their hard fought win over Everton.
Alisson Becker: 8/10
Alisson Becker has kept the most clean sheets (9) and conceded the fewest goals (5) in the Premier League this season.
World class ⭐️ pic.twitter.com/6Fq4zqz0lt
— LFC Stats (@LFCData) December 2, 2018
Making his Merseyside derby debut, Alisson was delightful in the Liverpool goal, producing a colossal performance. He did not have a great deal of glove work to do, but the two saves he made were crucial. Also made himself big to thwart Theo Walcott in the second half, and distributed the ball well too. Well worth the money Liverpool spent on him.
Trent Alexander-Arnold: 6/10
A sub-par outing, going by the high standards that he has been setting for himself. Alexander-Arnold had his hands full with Bernard, not always getting the better of the duel. The youngster’s delivery from set-pieces was not always convincing either, on an evening when Liverpool needed better performances in the final third.
Joe Gomez: 7.5/10
A fantastic showing by Gomez after his struggles against PSG. Looked at home in the central defensive partnership, using his pace to good effect to contain Richarlison. Produced one of the highlights of the game as well, miraculously clearing the ball off the line to keep the score level.
Should be persisted with at the heart of the Liverpool defence for the long run, despite Dejan Lovren’s presence in the squad.
Virgil van Dijk: 7/10
Donning the armband in the absence of James Milner and club captain Jordan Henderson, van Dijk led in commanding fashion, keeping the Liverpool backline organised for the most part while being typically dominant in the air. Played a part in the winner as well, as his volley was meekly saved by Pickford before Origi headed in the winner.
Andrew Robertson: 6.5/10
Had big challenges in the form of Theo Walcott and Ademola Lookman. But, Robertson did a great job in neutralising the duo, so much so that Walcott was often seen switching flanks in the hope of finding some joy. Not as effective in the final third as he usually is, though.
Georginio Wijnaldum: 5/10
Wijnaldum has been Mr. Reliable for Liverpool this season for the most part. But, on Sunday, the Dutch midfielder was underwhelming for the second successive game. Wasn’t as proactive on the ball as he usually is, although he continued to show admirable work-rate off it. Still, needs to do better and rediscover his early season form.
Fabinho is slowly but surely getting accustomed to the pace of the game in the Premier League. The Brazilian was overrun in the early stages of the match, with Gylfi Sigurdsson running the show. But, he soon found his feet, showing some solid form off the ball while also moving the ball forward at pace. Starting to grow into his role in the side.
Xherdan Shaqiri: 5/10
Back into the side, Shaqiri had the chance to make an impression and perhaps cement his place in the side. But, the Swiss blew hot and cold on the day, coming close with a chance but spurning it by taking one touch too many. Rightly was the first player to be taken off after a rather underwhelming showing.
Roberto Firmino: 5/10
The Liverpool attack was far from its best, perhaps best characterized by the continued struggles of Roberto Firmino. Had his bright moments, but looked out of his comfort zone a lot of times. The Brazilian just hasn’t adapted to the no. 10 role, and something has got to give soon enough.
Sadio Mane: 5.5/10
Quite easily the most potent threat for Liverpool, Mane got himself into scoring positions multiple times. But, his output in the moments that he found himself a shot away from goal left a lot to be desired. That is precisely the reason why he gets a low rating, with his finishing one aspect that Mane needs to address.
Mohamed Salah: 5/10
Another outing as the central striker, Salah too, flitted in and out of the game. In the first half, the Liverpool talisman was heavily involved in build-up play for the hosts. But, with Yerry Mina keeping a strict check on him, the Egyptian found himself isolated as the game went on. Sacrificed with a quarter of an hour to go.
Naby Keita: 5/10
Keita would have hoped to start on Sunday, and had the chance to prove a point in about 20 minutes. But, while he impressed with his desire and urgency, the Guinean midfielder failed to make much of an impact on the proceedings.
Daniel Sturridge: 5/10
On for the last 15 minutes, Sturridge had a quiet cameo. Origi’s winner may have affected his fortunes adversely.
Divock Origi: 7/10
Divock Origi ???
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) December 2, 2018
Players do not usually get a rating when they have been on the pitch for less than 10 minutes. But, Origi produced the telling moment in the match, after he had been denied by the woodwork. The Belgian was in the right place at the right time to score the elusive goal, and perhaps give his fortunes a boost.