Player Ratings: Liverpool 3-2 West Ham (Ox the difference and Keita with another night to forget)


Liverpool’s 3-2 victory over West Ham at Anfield meant that the Reds have now garnered a whopping 109 points from the last 111 available, equalled Manchester City’s record of 18 successive Premier League wins and their own all-time record of 21 consecutive home victories.


We are staring at statistics and records that do not come by very often, and numbers that surely suggest greatness.

But Jurgen Klopp’s men are constantly making them look increasingly ordinary with each passing victory, and there is a slight sense that the astonishing feat the Reds are accomplishing is somewhat downplayed.


It might be the approach in which Klopp’s men are handling the games, with the “one match at a time” approach ensuring that they have been going about their business in an impressive yet quiet manner. The mere thought of already having one hand on the Premier League trophy is quickly dismissed by all involved at Melwood.


Or perhaps it’s the way they have been dispatching teams – they have not exactly been at their breath-taking best at times – but it has always been devastatingly effective and decisive. Liverpool’s sheer dominance in the league does not always reflect in matches, with the most recent victory a perfect example, as the relegation-threatened Hammers found themselves a goal up at one point.


But it is the collective belief of the team and everyone involved – perhaps best embodied by captain Jordan Henderson with his actions on and off the pitch – that ensures the team battles till the final whistle.


Just four more victories required, and it’s in that exact same vein that we foresee the Reds march on.


Perhaps it is when we finally witness Henderson lift the trophy, or after the victory parade in Liverpool... but when the dust finally settles, the footballing world can then take a moment and truly appreciate and marvel at the unassuming greatness that this Liverpool team rightly is.


Alisson Becker: 7/10

The Brazilian keeper do not often concede goals, but he still came up with a big performance despite letting two past him. His save in the dying minutes after Jarrod Bowen was put through in a one-on-one situation ensured that all the records were intact, and most importantly three more points in the bag.


Trent Alexander-Arnold: 8/10

Alexander-Arnold was back to his brilliant best going forward, almost registering a hat-trick of assists, had Sadio Mane’s goal not been disallowed. He was a constant threat with his set-piece deliveries throughout the game, while he continues his remarkable ability to orchestrate attacks in open play from the fullback position.


Andy Robertson: 8/10

The Scot was bombing down the left flank in his usual fashion, defending stoutly against his countryman Robert Snodgrass and providing a constant threat in the final third. Two cheeky back-heels to set up Mane showcased the chemistry he shares with the Senegalese, and the confidence the Scotland captain is definitely not short of.


Joe Gomez: 8/10

Defended admirably throughout the game, Gomez is proving once again he possesses all the raw attributes to be in the same mould as his defensive partner van Dijk. A couple of stray passes and loose touches showed that he is not quite there yet, but with a mentor like van Dijk, the sky is currently the limit for the young English defender.


Virgil van Dijk: 8/10

The Dutch giant captained the Liverpool side to yet another victory, with his physical presence constantly felt in both penalty boxes. He will not be pleased to have conceded two goals, but it was yet another commanding performance from the best defender in the world.


Gini Wijnaldum: 8/10

Wijnaldum enjoyed one of his better games in recent weeks, capping off a strong performance with an expertly timed header past Lukasz Fabianski. The Dutch midfielder’s slight frame often belies his incredible physical strength, which was on full display tonight as he kept the ball outstandingly in the middle of the park.


Naby Keita: 5/10

Given another opportunity due to Henderson’s absence, Keita failed to make the most of it once again. The Guinean was sloppy in possession, often guilty of taking one touch too many. Perhaps it is his match fitness, or the adjustment to a faster and more physical league, but the number eight has to pull up his socks quickly – to even stand half a chance of accomplishing a fraction of what the former number eight has done.


Fabinho: 7/10

A typical solid performance by the Brazilian, dictated the tempo of the game with his excellent ball control and awareness. He was overran by the pacey Felipe Anderson a couple of occasions, but it was more down to the brilliance of the Brazilian winger.


Sadio Mane: 8/10

Kept very quiet by his exceptional standards, Mane still managed a goal despite not being largely involved in the game. He showed his usual quick feet and directness when given the chance, and almost had a brace but was ruled out for offside.


Roberto Firmino: 7/10

Displayed his usual tenacity and energy by winning the ball back for his team on a few occasions, the unselfish Brazilian was not as effective – again, by his remarkable standards – going forward, missing a few opportunities he would have buried on another day.


Mo Salah: 7/10

Another game, another goal – the Egyptian King looks set to go head to head with Mane once again for the Golden Boot. Salah was once again frustrating on several occasions, giving the ball away with stray passes in key moments – but he underlined his importance with the equaliser. It is a performance that Reds fans have gotten used to by now, but credit has to be given to the African winger who never once allowed his head to drop.


Substitutes


Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain: 8/10

Came on for the ineffective Keita when the Reds are trailing, the Ox signalled his intention with a rasping shot that went wide the moment he stepped onto the pitch. Made an instant impact in the game and his directness and work rate lifted the team’s performance, providing the spark that completed the comeback.


Joel Matip: 6/10

Came on in the dying minutes to shore things up at the back, the Cameroon gave away a free-kick at the end to provide a little more entertainment to an already compelling game.