Football Features

“Absolutely stone-cold world-class” – Player ratings as Liverpool annihilate Arsenal at Anfield again

By Muhammad Butt

Published: 19:47, 20 November 2021


In a one-sided night of football, Liverpool annihilated Arsenal 4-0 at Anfield to keep pace atop the Premier League.

The Reds were dominant from the first minute to the last as the Gunners’ brave resistence (and their 8-match unbeaten run) crumbled in the face of Liverpool’s relentless press. Arsenal actually handled themselves well in the first 30 minutes or so but a touchline altercation between Jurgen Klopp and an agitated Mikel Arteta really drove the crowd and the players forward and Liverpool kicked on and never looked back.

Here’s how the players rated at Anfield:


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Liverpool

Alisson – 6 – Had little to do, but still exuded an aura of confidence.

Trent Alexander-Arnold – 9 – Was the dominant attacking force in the game. Created the opening goal with a sensational cross and the fourth goal with a wonderful run and low ball across the face.

Created a game-high 4 chances, registered 2 assists for the second time in his last three club games. Simply put: this young man is on a different level from every other English right-back around. It’s not just the stats, it’s the way his presence dominates, influences and shapes the game in every phase of play. Absolutely stone-cold world-class.

Joel Matip – 6 – Was pleased that Aubameyang has lost a yard or so of pace, but was mostly cool.

Virgil van Dijk – 6 – Again, never tested due to the lack of speed in the Arsenal attack but still passed the ball nicely.

Kostas Tsimikas – 7 – Isn’t quite Andrew Robertson but offered plenty of attacking width down the left and was combative too.

Fabinho – 8 – An impressive display sweeping ahead of his defence to shut down Arsenal counter-attacks. Liverpool look so much more secure when he’s in the XI.

Thiago – 8 – Ran the show at Anfield. Kept the ball rotating, the tempo high and Arsenal on the back-foot. No one in pale yellow could touch him.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – 7 – Was surprisingly threatening as he looked to push it against his old side. Shwed some nice close-control but didn’t really use the ball well.

Mohamed Salah – 8 – Gabriel did well to help nullify him, but nothing could truly stop Salah. The Egyptian never stopped moving and acting as a reference in the final third for his side. In the end he was rewarded with his goal, finishing simply.

Sadio Mané – 8 – Nowhere near his best and lucky to stay on the pitch after a selection of tasty tackles in the first-half. Still, opened the scoring with a lovely header, as he so often does. And later set-up Salah with a nice cross.

Diogo Jota – 8 – A never-ending source of pressing energy in the middle. Doubled Liverpool’s lead with an outrageously composed bit of dribbling in the Arsenal box. Then enabled the third goal with a lovely flicked header to allow Mané to set-up Salah.

Substitutes:

Takumi Minamino (for Jota 76′) – 7 – Scored with his first touch 48 seconds after coming on.

Jordan Henderson (for Oxlade-Chamberlain 76′) – 7 – Played a lovely forward pass in the build-up to Liverpool’s fourth goal.

Tyler Morton (for Thiago 84′) – n/a – Came on late.


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Arsenal

Aaron Ramsdale – 8 – With the exception of Jota’s goal where he bit too hard on the shot-fake and Salah’s goal when he should have closed Mané down after a heavy touch, he literally didn’t put a single foot wrong. And those were just minor missteps in what was otherwise a flawless performance of goalkeeping. It ended 4-0 but without Ramsdale flying around his goal like some kind of English Peter Schmeichel this game could have reached double figures.

Takehiro Tomiyasu – 4 – Was completely overwhelmed by the Liverpool attack.

Ben White – 7 – A decently solid display and took advantage of Gabriel dealing with 1-v-1’s to make a game-high 7 clearances.

Gabriel – 8 – Absolutely mega performance from the Brazilian both in terms of duels and positional defending. No Arsenal outfielder did more to cage Salah and keep Liverpool quiet than Gabriel.

Nuno Tavares – 4 – Actually had a decent first hour or so but his passing really suffered under pressure and he gave the ball away more than once with two shocking passes late on.

Bukayo Saka – 5 – Utterly wasted on the wing. Spent the whole game chasing Mané and Tsimikas back to his own goal.

Thomas Partey – 4 – Did little to stem the tide of Liverpool attacks. Completely owned by Thiago.

Sambi Lokonga – 4 – Not up to this level of play, at least not yet.

Emile Smith Rowe – 5 – Could do nothing. Starved of the ball and forced to defend.

Alexandre Lacazette – 5 – Some nice touches but barely saw the ball.

Pierre-Emerick Aubemyang – 4 – Has quite clearly lost a step of pace. Quite a few counter-attacks ended because he no longer had the sheer speed to accellerate away from the Reds defence.

Substitutes:

Ainsley Maitland-Niles (for Lokonga 53′) – 4 – Came on and did nothing to stop Liverpool advancing, nor could he help Arsenal.

Martin Odegaard (for Lacazette 64′) – 5 – Added nothing, touching the ball just 15 times.

Mohamed Elneny (for Thomas 84′) – n/a – Came on late.

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